A spectacular discovery of light flares produced by a collision between 2 black holes has been made by scientists of US universities. The discovery is groundbreaking because black holes are regions of spacetime where the gravitational force is so strong that not even light can escape, this means that if two black holes collide they should not emit light.
The study which was published in journal Physical Review Letters on June 25 states that gravitational waves sent out by the collision of the two black holes were detected by National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), in USA.
A few days later, researchers working at Zwicky Transient Facility, which is designed to identify objects that rapidly change brightness spotted flare of similar intensity.
When the two events were compared, it was concluded that they came from the same region of the sky.
If the theory is to be believed that nothing can escape the gravity of black holes, then how did they emit this intense flare of light? Scientists assume that the collision itself had nothing to do with the blast of light. They claim that when the two black holes hit each other, they formed a new, larger black hole that experienced a kick, which sent it in a random direction.
“It is the reaction of the gas to this speeding bullet that creates a bright flare, visible with telescopes,” Barry McKernan, an astronomer on the California Institute of Technology team that captured the light, said in a press release.
“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,” said Matthew Graham from the California Institute of Technology and lead author of the study.