Massive Set of Triple Black Holes Discovered by Astronomers

Massive Set of Triple Black Holes Discovered by Astronomers

A massive set of triple black holes have been discovered by astronomers. They found the trio of tightly orbiting monstrous black holes located in a galaxy that is over four billion light years from Earth. That is the tightest set of black holes known to the present date and is astonishing because the majority of galaxies have only one black hole located at the center and it usually has a mass between 1 million to 10 billion times that of the Sun.

The discovery proposes that such densely packed colossal black holes may be much more common than was previously thought and the theory has been printed up in the scientific journal Nature. The team that is behind this idea is led by Dr. Roger Deane, who works at the University of Cape Town. They worked with a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI, in order to find the two inside black holes of the threefold system.

This system combined signals from huge radio antennas that were separated by over 10,000 kilometers to show details that were 50 times greater than what was even possible with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Dr. Deane explained that what was so extraordinary was that the black holes, which are at the very edge of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, are actually orbiting one another about 300 times the speed of sound on Earth. They are also using united signals from radio telescopes off of four different continents. Scientists are able to observe such an amazing system one third of the way across the Universe. It gives a person much excitement because this is just a scratch on the surface of hopefully a very lengthy list of discoveries that will come from the Square Kilometer Array.

These types of systems are important to comprehend because in terms of galaxy evolution it is known that black holes effect how galaxies grow. So in understanding how often black holes merge together is key to such work. Additionally, such closely orbiting structures are foundations of gravitational waves in the Universe, if General Relativity is accurate. Any future radio telescopes such as the SKA will be able to measure the waves from such systems as their orbits decline.

Professor Matt Jarvis, who works at the Universities of Oxford and the Western Cape, explained that the discovery not only implies that close paired black hole systems are a lot more common than was formerly thought, but also foretells that radio telescopes such as the VLBI Network will directly aid in the discovery and understanding of various gravitational wave signals.

The massive set of triple black holes was discovered by astronomers who found the trio located in a galaxy that is over four billion light years away. They are the tightest set of black holes known to the present date and are astonishing because the majority of galaxies have only one black hole located at the center and it usually has a mass between 1 million to 10 billion times that of the Sun.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

National Geographic News

American Live Wire

Space News

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