Black Hole Rocketing Through Space At Five Million Miles An Hour
Black holes are so huge that their gravity doesn’t allow any light to escape. Supermassive are the biggest black holes. They weigh as much as a billion suns.
The supermassive black holes appear to be pending at the centre of almost every galaxy. This includes the Milky Way galaxy. They control the formation of stars.
They are also capable of deforming the fabric of space-time itself. It’s a well-known fact that it takes a lot to push a black hole around.
Astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole that got kicked off its original position. The black hole is located eight billion light-years from Earth, in a galaxy called 3C 186. The black hole is currently rocketing through space at a speed of almost 5 million miles an hour.
Researchers have reported that gravitational waves are responsible for the relocation of the supermassive black hole. Albert Einstein first predicted gravitational waves 100 years ago. The gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by the universe’s most cataclysmic events.
Researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) revealed that gravitational waves are produced by the merger of two black holes.
The unusual behavior of the black hole in galaxy 3C 186 is likely the result of gravitational waves from another pair of colliding black holes.
The Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope picked up the images of the black hole. The black hole’s mass was determined to be equal to that of a billion suns.
The speed of the gas around it was travelling at 4.7 million mph.
The Hubble image offered a clue about what dislodged the black hole from its galaxy's centre. It suggested that galaxy 3C 186 had recently merged with another system, and perhaps their black holes merged too.
Scientists can only theorise what happened after the incident. Chiaberge and his colleagues suggest that as the galaxies collided, their black holes began to circle each other, throwing out gravity waves.
The scientists also reported that if the black holes had unequal masses and spin rates, they might have sent more gravitational waves in one direction than the other. After the collision was complete, the newly merged black hole would have then recoiled from the strongest gravitational waves. This would then cause it to shoot off in the opposite direction.
Colin Norman of STScI and Johns Hopkins University, a co-author on the paper, said in the Nasa news release that the asymmetry depends on properties such as the mass and the relative orientation of the back holes' rotation axes before the fusion takes place.