Two Massive Black Holes Circling Each Other Discovered
This discovery will shape future astrophysical findings for decades to come
Photo Illustration SXS Lensing
Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have found two massive black holes which appear to be circling each other 2.5 billion miles from earth. This was reported by CNET using research from the Astrophysical Journal of Letters.
These black holes have been detected in the center of two galaxies and are expected to merge. The black holes are massive in scale, 800 million times more massive than the sun.
Their eventual merger could solve a major astrophysical question called the ‘final parsec problem.’ That is, the belief that if two black holes were to get a single parsec within each other, they would circle each other for an infinite amount of time. A parsec is approximately 3.26 light years.
In addition, two merging black holes are believed to release gravitational waves throughout the universe. These wave could solve the final parsec problem and show that black holes can merge. Or, the converse could be proven showing that they do not merge.
Unfortunately for contemporary astrophysicists, the gravitational waves from these two newly discovered black holes won’t reach earth for 2.5 billion years so the final parsec problem may not be resolved any time soon.