Astronomers first saw the splash of light from the collision of two black holes. The object was found at a distance of 7.5 billion light years from Earth. At the time of their meeting in a whirlwind of hot matter rotating around a larger, supermassive black hole, began the merger. This whirlpool called the accretion disk and rotates around the event horizon of a black hole – the place in space where the force of gravity so strong that even light photons can not leave. That is why scientists have never seen the collision of two black holes. In the absence of light to identify these mergers can only find gravitational waves – ripples in space-time created by the collisions of massive objects.
Einstein was wrong?
For the first time the existence of gravitational waves predicted by albert Einstein, but he did not think that they will be able to detect. They seemed too weak to catch their signal on the Ground amid all the noise and vibration. For 100 years it seemed that Einstein was right. But in 2015, LIGO and VIRGO detectors of gravitational waves, located at EGO (European gravitational Observatory in Washington, and Louisiana) was first detected gravitational wavesignals from mergers of two black holes at a distance of about 1.3 billion light years from Earth.
The opening marked the beginning of a new field of astronomy, and brought a Nobel prize in physics to the researchers, who worked on the project. This time scientists have compared the collision of supermassive black holes as LIGO detector was first detected a surge of light that seemed impossible, because black holes do not emit light.
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Researchers believe that the force of the collision of two massive objects made newly formed black hole to slip through gas accretion disk around the larger black hole. In a press release, the study, published in the journal Physical Review Letters they say that the reaction gas to acceleration generates bright flash, visible in telescopes. A team of astronomers California Institute of technology expects to see another surge from the same black hole in a few years when it is projected, will come back in the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole.
The reason why the search for such bursts is important is that they help in the issues of astrophysics and cosmology. If we will be able to detect light from the merging of other black holes, you learn more about the origin of these mysterious objects.
Study co-author Mansi was Kasliwal, associate Professor of astronomy California Institute of technology.
Both the detector and the LIGO and VIRGO recorded disturbances in space-time in may 2019. Just a few days the telescopes at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, noticed a bright flash of light coming from the same place in space. Later, the researchers reviewed archival images of this region of the sky and noticed a surge. The flash slowly faded throughout the month. Timeline and location coincided with the data of LIGO. In the course of work the team came to the conclusion that the surge is probably a result of the merger of two black holes, however, to exclude completely other options can not. However, they managed to eliminate the likelihood that the surge was the result of ordinary explosions in the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole as the surge for the past 15 years, the drive has behaved relatively calm.
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The study of gravitational waves
In the future, researchers expect more such discoveries. All because in the next few years should start the new gravitational-wave Observatory gravitational wave detector Kamioka (KAGRA). With KAGRA, LIGO and VIRGO scientists expect to narrow down the search for the location of massive collisions three times. It will also help to improve the equipment of the telescopes for a more accurate detection of these events that cause gravitational waves and the detection of light emitted by them. The authors of scientific work, a new global network of detectors, ultimately, can detect up to 100 collisions per year.