Black holes are peculiar enough due to their laws of physics-defying traits. These cosmic conundrums have infinite gravity, they absorb even light once it gets too close, and time simply stops near them. It’s mind-boggling, we know it. But things can become even weirder when we talk about black holes, and Indian researchers prove it.
According to HindustanTimes.com, scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru) have spotted three supermassive black holes while they were merging to form a triple active galactic nucleus. As in the classical models of supermassive black holes, each of these newfound cosmic beasts was located in a galaxy.
A remarkable discovery
Jyoti Yadav, the lead author, says as quoted by HindustanTimes.com:
Our study found that there are three galaxies, each with an active galactic nucleus forming a triple AGN system. Cosmological modelling predicts that there should be 16% triple AGN but only a handful have been observed so far.
For their remarkable discovery, the astronomers had used data from Astrosat, meaning India’s space mission.
Black holes are impossible to see directly since they do not emit any light. Yadav also confirms it by saying, as also cited by HindustanTimes.com:
We generally expect that every galaxy has a black hole but we do not see it. But it can be observed by studying galaxies interacting, when the gases move towards the central part of the galaxy and trigger the AGN activity. We expect multiple AGNs in interacting galaxy groups.
Luckily enough, astronomers will never run out of material to study. Black holes are pretty much everywhere in the Universe. NASA says that judging by the number of stars that are large enough to create stellar black holes, the estimation of scientists is that there are as many as between 10 million and 1 billion such black holes only in our Milky Way galaxy.