Supermassive black holes spotted on collision course; Will it decimate our galaxy?

Three Black Holes On Collision Course
Three Black Holes On Collision Course X-ray: NASA/CXC/George Mason Univ./R. Pfeifle et al.; Optical: SDSS & NASA/STScI

The universe has many unknown mysteries that are yet to be identified. Black holes are one of the most mysterious and interesting aspects of the universe.

But recently, a group of scientists found the best evidence of a trio of supermassive black holes in the midst of a cosmic collision.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains in a new post that by using powerful imaging hardware and telescope, the astronomers have spotted an extremely rare space event which includes the triple black hole smash-up.

The team used several different imaging techniques such as infrared, X-ray, and optical sensors to detect the crash course of the black holes.

"First, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope, which scans large swaths of the sky in optical light from New Mexico, imaged SDSS J0849+1114. With the help of citizen scientists participating in a project called Galaxy Zoo, it was then tagged as a system of colliding galaxies," NASA stated.

Earlier scientific studies revealed that supermassive black holes, which are the largest and most powerful of the lot, rests at the centre of our galaxy.

This time the collision of these black holes were spotted one billion light-years away from earth, in a system called SDSS J0849+1114.

Ryan Pfeifle of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, the lead author of this study said, "Through the use of these major observatories, we have identified a new way of identifying triple supermassive black holes. Each telescope gives us a different clue about what's going on in these systems."

In addition to that, the author of this new study which was published in The Astrophysical Journal also mentioned that the team will be now working to find more triples using the same technique.

As per the scientists, these three black holes are carrying their own galaxies into the cauldron. But this particular space event could give a hint to what will happen to our galaxy, as our Milky Way is believed to be on a similar collision course along with neighbouring Andromeda galaxy.

However, it should be mentioned that to witness such a phenomenon it will take several billion years.

Pfeifle said, "We were only looking for pairs of black holes at the time, and yet, through our selection technique, we stumbled upon this amazing system."

"This is the strongest evidence yet found for such a triple system of actively feeding supermassive black holes," he added.

Related topics : Nasa Space