Scientists have discovered two black holes in a nearby quasar using NASA’s Hubble telescope.
According to a report, astronomers were working with the Hubble when they saw that two black holes were on a collision course with each other in the quasar that is the closest to Earth. Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the universe thus far and have huge black holes in their cores.
The galaxy that contains the quasi-stellar radio source located 600 million light-years away, Markarian 231, was found to be built around two black holes. So far in history, this is the first ‘binary quasar’ ever to be observed, but searchers, do not think it will be the last, according to News Quench.
Scientists noticed a strange gap in its accretion disk, the ring of gas that encircles the black holes before it got sucked down, while using Hubble. They used information that was gathered by the telescope to model the forces at play and then realized that there had to have been a small black hole circling around the larger one.
They estimated the larger black hole to be 150 million times heavier than the sun while the smaller of the two only four times more massive. The larger black holes will swallow the smaller one, but not for hundreds of thousands of years.
The team of scientists from China and the U.S. deducted that the binary system formed when two galaxies merged together. The breakthrough discovery will set a path for a methodology for scanning the skies for new binary quasars which is something they have strived to perfect in order to crack into more knowledge.
The research could also aid them, they hope, in further research around how the light escapes these cosmic drains opening up possible answers to other mysteries of the universe.