After two supermassive black holes join in a mythical cosmic waltz 9 billion light-years away, they appear to orbit each other every two years.
Long-term radio observations of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy seem to show that it has an unseen supermassive companion.
Caltech-led observations were made over a 13-year period by the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in Northern California and revealed that the radio black hole It will soon merge with an accompanying black hole to form a supermassive binary black hole (SMBHB).
These two supermassive black holes appear to orbit each other every two years, according to a Caltech report. Each of the two giant bodies has masses hundreds of millions of times greater than the mass of our Sun, and the bodies are separated by a distance of approx. 50 times greater than the distance between our star and PlutoBut when the pair merge in about 10,000 years, the giant collision is expected to shake space and time itself, sending gravitational waves across the universe.
The notes are detailed in a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Observed quasar PKS 2131-021, is part of a subclass of quasars called blazars in which the plane is directed toward Earth. Currently, it is only the second known candidate for a pair of supermassive black holes discovered during the merger process.
“Most, if not all, large galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers, and it has been observed that galaxies undergo merging processes, so there must be supermassive black hole binaries as a result.”
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