For all the advances in astronomy in mankind's history, scientists are still very much in the dark when it comes to black hole mergers, and nobody really knows what happens when they meet.
"It is a major embarrassment for astronomy that we don't know if supermassive black holes merge", stated Jenny Greene, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton and co-author of the examine.
Astronomers don't have to wait much longer for their first glimpse of one of the biggest supermassive black holes collision in the cosmos.
Futurism writes that when these two black holes reach their final days, they will be giving off some gravitational waves which are a million times stronger than the ones that have been first discovered at LIGO, Flatiron Institute for Computational Astrophysics scientist Chiara Mingarelli said in a press release.More news: Lamar Odom, Baron Davis among those deactivated by Big3
The black holes described in this study are a whopping 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth, meaning that 2.5 billion years have passed since the two were in the state that we now see them in.
Titanic Twosome: A Princeton-led team of astrophysicists has spotted a pair of supermassive black holes, roughly 2.5 billion light-years away, that are on a collision course (inset).
Princeton graduate student Kris Pardo, a co-author on the paper, said, "When these supermassive black holes merge, they will create a black hole hundreds of times larger than the one at the center of our galaxy". If a passing gravitational wave stretches or compresses the space between Earth and the pulsar, the rhythm is slightly thrown off.
This puzzle is dubbed the "final-parsec problem".More news: Sir David Attenborough takes aim at Australia for lack of climate action
On the other hand, this is important because the existence of these black holes alone could help astronomers to better understand the black holes. The gravitational waves the two black holes generate prior to collision already dwarf those previously detected from the collision of small black holes and neutron stars. When material gets too close it's swallowed up, but in less active galaxies the black holes at their core don't have the gravitational might to continuously draw material from the surrounding galaxy.
Scientists hunting for the more massive gravitational waves from supermassive black hole collisions rely on arrays of individual stars called pulsars that act like metronomes, sending out radio waves in a steady rhythm. Some astronomers believes that once two supermassive black holes get close enough together, reducing their distance to 1 parsec (3.2 light years), they may dance for an eternity.
If the final parsec problem doesn't exist, then astronomers expect that the universe is filled with the clamor of gravitational waves from supermassive black hole pairs. When galaxies merge, the supermassive black holes drift to the center of the newly unified galaxy and begin orbiting one another.
Although supermassive black holes can't be directly seen through optical telescope, they are surrounded by bright clumps of luminous stars and warm gas drawn in by their huge gravitational pull.More news: Inside the world premiere of The Lion King