NASA recently found the first known existence of binary black holes in the middle of the closest quasar to Earth. The scientific discovery belongs to galaxy Markarian 231, the nearest galaxy to our planet that houses a quasar at 600 million light-years away. Quasars are the brightest objects in the universe and are formed from the infinitely hot matter inside of black holes. As black holes obliterate nearby planets, stars, and other debris, an accretion disk is formed from the fiery force field which can be brighter than entire galaxies.
The discovery was made by a combination of U.S. and Chinese scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff is giving scientists more insight on the function of black holes and possible prevalence of binary black holes. The ultraviolet color of the quasar in Markarian 231 may give researchers a clue in finding more twin black holes.
The increased energy of two black holes and the quasar is causing a drastic increase in star production. While black holes are created due to a collapse of a star, they are also capable of creating new stars. The black holes in Markarian 231 are producing at a rate 100 times faster than the Milky Way, which is home to one black hole but no Quasar.
There is a space odyssey in the making when the inevitable occurs in a few hundreds of thousands of years: the two black holes collide. Currently, the primary black hole is approximately 150 million times larger than our sun. Its little sister is only four million times larger. Feel free to root for the underdog, however it’s pretty clear which black hole is going to win this fight. What isn’t clear is what exactly the collision will trigger: the end of the universe? Or just a slight hiccup in our Netflix streaming connection?