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Could there be light from the black hole merger?



Astronomers operating in California suggest that proof of light produced from the merger of two black holes could have been found. If future studies confirm their findings, then this marks the first-ever observation of light ejected by the smashing of the two massive celestial bodies together. The finding may also be evidence that black holes are not born only in dark "stellar graveyards."

A paper recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters described the potential proof of light produced from a black hole merger, which comes from Gizmodo. The authors of the paper, including Matthew Graham at the California Institute of Technology, et al., noted that after LIGO observed gravitational waves from a candidate binary black hole merger in May of 2019, the theory for this phenomenon was established.


The facility that confirmed "the [first-ever] observation of a binary black hole collision" in 2016 is for those who need a refresher, LIGO, or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. (It was big news.) Following the potential discovery of the binary black hole in 2019, Graham built a novel theoretical model to explain the case. He ultimately asked the question, "What if this black hole merger occurred inside of a quasar? ”


A quasar (immediately below) is basically a supermassive black hole that deliberately draws dust and gas from an accretion disk in the surrounding region. It lights up the gas and dust in the process, to the point of becoming super-luminous. Graham speculated that inside the accretion disk of one of these quasars, the binary black hole merger observed in 2019 took place.


The explanation for the delay between the detection of the gravitational waves produced by the merger and the associated blast of light, according to the researchers, was due to the fact that the light was possibly slowed as it spread through the opaque accretion disk. Graham and his collaborators also suggest their hypothetical model assumes that the resulting black hole was "kicked out" of the accretion disk from the merger, explaining why after 40 days the flare of light from the quasar died down.


Going forward, the researchers expect to gather further data supporting the theory that inside the accretion disk of a quasar, the black hole merger actually took place. This proof will be given in less than two years, as the team estimates that in a little over one and a half years, the newly created supermassive black hole, which, if it exists, is approximately 150 times more massive than the Sun, would crash back into the accretion disk.


If ample evidence supports the birth of this supermassive black hole within a quasar, it would suggest that black holes are not born in the darkness alone. In reality, it would mean that, in the midst of a flood of light, the most huge black hole ever seen was smashed into existence.


 

Source Nerdist


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