The Universe may be a terrifying and yet surprising place even for the best of our astrophysicists and astronomers. Over the years, it has constantly been providing us with surprises, to be honest. And probably the most mysterious kind of object discovered until now is a black hole. Since it defies the laws of physics, a black hole is mostly an enigma and nobody knows for sure what it can lead to.
One thing we know for sure, instead, is that a supermassive black hole may be at the center of each or most of the galaxies we know, causing them to spin, form and take shape. That’s right, something so mysterious and frightening like a black hole can help galaxies and indirectly life to burst out. But what could happen if we have three of such astonishing structures merging? That’s precisely what we will be covering today.
SDSS J0849+1114 is the black hole system
Astronomers have found three supermassive black holes very close to each other after many observations including NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The researchers first spotted the three black holes hurtling towards one another (and each of them weighing billions of times more than our Sun), with the aid of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope in New Mexico, US. The black hole system is about 1 billion light-years away from Earth and it received the name SDSS J0849+1114 or SDSS J084905.51+111447.2.
The merging of three supermassive black holes is extremely rare
Ryan Pfeifle of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, 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.”
Supermassive black holes are by definition the biggest and heaviest types of black holes, weighing millions of times more than the Sun in an area the size of the solar system. The big question is: what will the fusion between the three supermassive black holes can form?
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.