Technology Supermassive Black Holes Spotted in Photo of Andromeda

20:05  01 december  2017
20:05  01 december  2017 Source:   Newsweek

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26 new black hole candidates have been spotted in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The supermassive black holes that populate the centers of most galaxies are easy to spot The Most Amazing Space Photos This Week! With 'Mission 1' Complete, Planet Turns Focus to Data Analysis.

Tsunami Photos . Andromeda , M31, supermassive black holes . “Over the course of the last ten years, NASA’s Chandra X-Ray observatory has monitored closely the supermassive black hole at Andromeda ’s heart.

a blurry image of a night sky © Provided by IBT Media

Two supermassive black holes recently spotted in a picture of the Andromeda galaxy are the closest orbiting pair ever discovered—and they could be on course for a catastrophic cosmic collision in as little as 350 years.

Andromeda is our closest neighbouring galaxy, sitting around 2.5 million light years away. This is fairly close in astronomical terms—it is expected it will collide with our own home galaxy, the Milky Way, about four billion years from now.

Scientists from the University of Washington were studying an unusual object within Andromeda - dubbed J0045+41 — which they thought to be a special type of star. Previously, another team of scientists had identified it as a pair of stars orbiting each other once every 80 days—but the UW team thought there was something more going on.

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Swift Spots a Black Hole Flare-Up. Gammy Ray Burst 080319B was so bright that we could see it from halfway across the universe. | A Black Hole in Andromeda Galaxy. Photo of a Supermassive Black Hole .

26 new black hole candidates have been spotted in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The supermassive black holes that populate the centers of most galaxies are easy to spot because their surroundings are so bright, but much smaller stellar mass Photo shows 'UFO' above medieval castle.

“We were looking for a special type of star in M31 and thought we had found one,” said  Trevor Dorn-Wallenstein, lead author on the study published in the Astrophysical Journal. “We were surprised and excited to find something far stranger!”

To observe it, they used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and two ground-based telescopes in Hawaii and California. Their observations showed the object could not be a star in the Andromeda galaxy—the intensity of the X-rays meant it must either be binary system containing a neutron star or black hole, or that it was a type of distant system that contained at least one supermassive black hole.

Further analysis of the object showed there were in fact two supermassive black holes present, and that these were orbiting one another at an incredibly close distance. Researchers estimate the pair are separated by a distance of one hundredth of a light year—just a few hundred times the distance between Earth and the sun—and that they orbit each other at periods varying between 80 and 320 days.

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The supermassive black hole in Andromeda , like Sag *A, the Milky Way's supermassive black hole is ten to one hundred thousand times fainter in X-ray light that astronomers might expect given the reservoir of gas around it.

The two supermassive black holes are currently being drawn towards one another and will at some point collide to become one. “We’re unable to pinpoint exactly how much mass each of these black holes contains,” co-author John Ruan said in a statement. “Depending on that, we think this pair will collide and merge into one black hole in as little as 350 years or as much as 360,000 years.”

“J0045+41 is an exciting and unique object,” the team wrote, adding follow-up observations are required to confirm they are indeed looking at a supermassive black hole binary system. A closer look at the system would also help them to confirm and narrow down the orbital periods estimated.

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