Two black holes on a collision course The clash will occur in the next three years. On a cosmic scale, three years means imminent. collision History can go down as one of the greatest modern astronomical events.
This isn’t the first time this massive phenomenon has occurred, and we can’t even notice it. It happened in 2016, but it surprised us a little. On that occasion, the observatories LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 announced the first detection of gravitational waves caused by the merger of two black holes.
This time, however, experts from all over the planet will be watching closely to capture the explosion of the collision of two black holes in all its splendor live.
We owe to an English clergyman, John MichaelAt the end of the eighteenth century, it was black hole concept As an object of this mass, light cannot escape from it. John Michele’s idea was left in the background because at the time he believed that light is a wave and not a particle, so, since it has no mass, gravity should not affect it. Two centuries later, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein restored this theory Arguing that light sometimes behaves like a wave and other times like a particle, and presumably Wave-particle duality From the light, which turned out to be real.
Ten years later, in 1915, Albert Einstein himself He published his theory of general relativity and showed that light is affected by gravity, the curvature of its trajectory in space-time as it passes near massive objects. Light always travels in a straight line (geodesic), but straight lines Near a massive object, such as a black hole, they are not what we think.
Thus, we are faced with a finite region of space whose mass density is very high It generates a gravity that not even light can escapeSeeing herself drawn and hopelessly falling, gravity singularity. But if light cannot escape from it, how can we see it?
there at least Two ways to spot black holes. in the first place, We can tell the effect of its gravity on the things around it. For example, in the center of the Milky Way there is a dark spot around which millions of stars orbit. This dark spot is a black hole, Sagittarius A*. Indeed, with a high probability, There is a black hole at the center of most galaxies.
We can also see matter falling into a black hole. As it approaches, the so-called Accumulation disc, composed of dust and gas which orbits the black hole and which, finally, tends to fall inside it. This disk of matter is so accelerated that the radiation it emits is in the X-ray range, which We can observe with the appropriate tools.
In the famous photo of Black hole Gargantua Who appears in the movie? Interstellar or in The first real image of a black holeObtained thanks to the cooperation of more than 200 researchers from all over the world (15 Spaniards) led by Katie Bowmanwhat is observed is precisely the accretion disc.
The two black holes about to collide are found in SDSS galaxy J1430+2303, located a billion light-years away from Earth.. The fluctuations detected by astronomers at SDSS J1430 + 2303 indicate that two supermassive black holes inside it will collide within the next three years.
The collision actually occurred a billion years ago, but its impact, and thus the possibility of observing it, will now reach us on Earth. The merger of these black holes, the mass of which is equivalent to 200 million suns, It will make it possible to study the formation of new cosmic structures and How do the holes get bigger?among other phenomena.
The moment both black holes come into contact and merge, different phenomena will occur. First of all, spacetime is about space will generate vibrating gravitational wavesas if we were throwing a stone into a pond in which waves were generated on the water.
Gravitational waves will travel in all directions in space at the speed of light We will be able to observe any luminous effect that occurs during fusion of the two giants, while gravitational waves were detected.
Researchers and scientists from around the world already have telescopes and interferometers ready to capture the event. The shock will not affect our daily lives, but it will once again put Einstein’s equations of general relativity to the test and may reveal hitherto unknown aspects of the universe and its inhabitants.
This will be the first time that humanity will be able to see the collision of two black holes alive. Expected date: 2023. We will feel the space-time tremor.
Written by Francisco Jose Torcal Milla. *
This text is reproduced from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.