Although being known as a black hole, this cosmic object still manages to puzzle astronomers as an incredibly powerful light generated by it was recently observed. Not long ago, scientists were able to observe for the first time, a flare emitted by two merging black holes.
According to a recent study in 2019, two black holes were spotted merging in the deep areas of space, and with their merging, an extremely bright flare-up was observed, which was then visible through the Universe.
This research is important, in particular, knowing that black holes, as the name implies, have no light. It should be mentioned that when black holes collide into one, they generate a ripple in spacetime, which is known as a gravitational wave.
The discovery was made by scientists from the National Science Foundation Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. As per Matthew Graham of the California Institute of Technology Zwicky Transient Facility, the flare-up probably came from the merging of two supermassive black holes. However, more observations are needed before coming to a definite explanation.
“The supermassive black hole was burbling along for years before this more abrupt flare. The flare occurred on the night timescale, and in the right location, to be coincident with the gravitational-wave event,” said Graham.
The Earliest Quasar Discovered so Far
Dr. Nicholas Ross of the University of Edinburg expressed excitement at the finding and said that the merging of black holes would have immense implications in the field of physics.
Prior to this, astronomers have discovered what seems to be an extremely massive quasar, named J1007+2115 or Pōniuāʻena, which translates to ‘unseen spinning source of creation, surrounded with brilliance.’
This quasar was spotted by researchers at Maunakea in Hawaii, and its name was created following the suggestions of 30 Hawaiian teachers. Astronomers were looking for the most distant quasars in space when they made the discovery.
This particular space object is, for now, the most distant or earliest quasar to have a black hole with the mass of more than a billion suns. Pōniuāʻena is so distant that it took 13.2 billion years to get to Earth, which implies it started its journey about 700 years after the Big Bang.