Pair of Supermassive Black Holes Detected in Galaxy NGC 7727 Close to Earth, What Are They?

Astronomers have detected the presence of a pair of supermassive black holes.

Not an ordinary pair of black holes, because it is the closest supermassive black hole to Earth ever observed.

One of the supermassive black holes measuring 154 million times the mass of the Sun. While the other is smaller, only 6.3 million solar masses.

The two objects are also closer together than any other pair of supermassive black holes seen before.

Astronomers also think that the black hole in galaxy NGC 7727 will eventually grow so close together that it will eventually merge into a much larger black hole.

This finding also gives us a very close laboratory to investigate the interactions between supermassive black holes before they merge.

"This is the first time we have found two supermassive black holes so close to each other, less than half the distance from the previous record holder," said Karina Voggel, an astronomer at the Strasbourg Observatory in France.

The distance broke the record for the previous pair of black holes, which were known to be 470 million light-years away. Meanwhile, this new pair of black holes is only 1600 light-years apart.

There are several reasons why these two supermassive black holes are of interest to astronomers.

These supermassive black holes are found at the center of most galaxies, the core around which everything else revolves.

In addition, when two black holes are found together, it shows that the two galaxies formed together and can tell us what they looked like in the late stages.

Supermassive black holes can also tell us something about how they got so massive. One possible way is through merging two black holes and these new findings allow for more accurate modeling.

Furthermore, even though these two supermassive black holes are expected to merge, it does not mean that it will happen any time soon. It would take at least 250 million years or so.

But, while we can't observe it happening, there will be more merging of other supermassive black holes happening all around us.

"New instruments such as the LISA space-based gravitational wave detector are expected to detect low-frequency gravitational waves emitted by black holes," the researchers said.


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