Representative Image
Representative Image

Collision between two black holes result in gravitational waves in space and time. Since black holes don't give off light, the collisions are usually dark as well.

But some researchers, with some evidence, believe a collision may have erupted with light.

Scientists at Palomar Observatory near San Diego have spotted a 'flare of light' that may have been a result of two black holes colliding.

NSF's Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European Virgo detector witnessed the black hole merger for the first on May 21, 2019.

They captured all sorts of flare, light or whatever had erupted after the collision that night.

Matthew Graham, the research professor of astronomy who is the author of a new study, stated: "This supermassive black hole was burbling along for years before this more abrupt flare."

"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."

Co-author K.E Saavik Ford, explaining the scenario, said: "At the center of most galaxies lurks a supermassive black hole. It's surrounded by a swarm of stars and dead stars, including black holes."

"These objects swarm like angry bees around the monstrous queen bee at the center. They can briefly find gravitational partners and pair up but usually lose their partners quickly to the mad dance. But in a supermassive black hole's disk, the flowing gas converts the mosh pit of the swarm to a classical minuet, organizing the black holes so they can pair up."

Another co-author Barry McKernan has said that two black holes when merged, the larger black hole reacts.

"It is the reaction of the gas to this speeding bullet that creates a bright flare, visible with telescopes," he said.

"Supermassive black holes like this one have flares all the time. They are not quiet objects, but the timing, size, and location of this flare was spectacular," says another co-author Mansi Kasliwal.

"The reason looking for flares like this is so important is that it helps enormously with astrophysics and cosmology questions. If we can do this again and detect light from the mergers of other black holes, then we can nail down the homes of these black holes and learn more about their origins."

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