A newly discovered pair of black holes could be encountered within three years

A newly discovered pair of black holes could be encountered within three years

Researchers have noticed that the variation of light from the center of the SDS J1430+2303 galaxy is similar to the convergence of two supermassive black holes. If observations are confirmed, the collision will occur within the next three years.

Earlier this year, Chinese astrophysicists published a preprint on the strange behaviour of light in the center of the galaxy of SDSS J1430+2303. For three years, fluctuations in the galaxy had become shorter and shorter, from about a year to just one month, suggesting that there were two nearby black holes in the center of the galaxy.

In a new study, scientists from Guangzhou University observed for 200 days the SDSS J1430+2303 using X-ray telescopes. They confirmed the changes in X-ray light studied by the galaxy, as well as the type of radiation associated with the fall of iron into a black hole that characterizes the merger of black holes. However, current observations still give a clear answer. These effects may be related to a merger or other unknown process that occurs in a galaxy centre.

However, it is not quite clear that what happens in the center of J1430+2303 is at all the result of a double black hole, let alone one that is about to collapse. Galactic nuclei are strange places that emit signals that are difficult to interpret, which means that perhaps something else can cause variability in the heart of J1430+2303.

The black hole collisions were first discovered in 2015, and since then scientists have repeatedly recorded such events, but all of them are known only indirectly, a gravitational disturbance spreading through space-time. Most of the collisions that have been discovered today are black holes with a slightly larger mass than the solar mass. These are the events that capture the gravity sensors of the LIGO and Virgin Observatorys.

Observations of the SDSJ1430+2303 galaxy showed that there are two close black holes in its centre with a total mass of 200 million suns.

Astrophysicists point out that the data contained in such an outbreak can tell a lot about how supermassive black holes are formed. One of the hypotheses says they are the result of a binary merger of several objects.