Home News Scientists observe a flare of radiation from 2 colliding black holes

Scientists observe a flare of radiation from 2 colliding black holes

A group of scientists from the Caltech Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in California believe that they detected some light emission from the merger of two blackholes. Such a discovery is occurring for the first time in the Astrophysics and the scientists said that they are planning to carry out further research related to this finding.

This phenomenon was discovered while studying the gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiations from the blackhole collision. The results are not yet conclusive or concrete and it has been said that further studies will be carried out for a few more years. This might bring about more insights in to the study of blackholes.

The results of the research was published on June 25th, 2020, in the journal called Physical Review Letters. The study was led by Matthew Graham, and on May 21, 2019, they a gravitational wave using the Twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory facilities located in US and also the Virgo observatory in Italy.

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Scientists observe a flare of radiation from 2 colliding black holes
Scientists observe a flare of radiation from 2 colliding black holes

This gravitational waves dubbed as S190521 was detected from the collision of two black holes in space. This was followed by the detection of electromagnetic radiation in the form of flares right near the same spot of the gravitational wave. The flares were said to be originated from a supermassive black hole (Quasar) called J1249+3449.

The major doubts regarding this newly observed phenomena arises from our previous understanding of the black holes. A black hole is by definition and region of space time with very strong gravitational force where no particle, not even electromagnetic radiation such as light can escape from it. Hence, it is truly surprising that such flares of radiation was observed from them.

A report from CNET says that the merging of two blackholes occurs in accretion disks surrounding supermassive black holes. Accretion disks are ubiquitous phenomena in astrophysics where it involves gamma ray bursts. It is a spinning disk of gasses surrounding a celestial object like a black hole and often give rise to astrophysical jets coming from the vicinity of a central object.

The co-author of the study, Barry McKernan said, “It is the reaction of gas to this speeding bullet that creates a bright flare visible with telescopes”.

“The flare occurred on the right timescale, and in the right location, to be coincident with the gravitational-wave event. In our study, we conclude that the flare is likely the result of a black hole merger, but we cannot completely rule out other possibilities,” the report added.

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Saranya
Saranya
Engineer - Masters graduate in Biotechnology and Biochemical engineering Graduated from Birla Institute Of Technology and Science (BITS-Pilani)

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