The process of merging two black holes into one science has been known for a long time - but as it turned out, more large-scale phenomena occur in space. Researchers at George Mason University immediately discovered three supermassive black holes in the process of combining into one and published a visualization of their collision.
X-ray images from several sources, including the Chandra space observatory, which discovered traces of matter absorbed by black holes in the X-ray range, helped scientists find an unusual “trio” in far space. A ground network of optical telescopes was also involved in the search.
“The signals in the optical spectrum contain a lot of information about the galaxy. They are usually used to identify actively merging supermassive black holes and reflect their influence on the galaxies in which they are located, ”said Dr. Christina Manzano-King, one of the members of the research team.
Three black holes in the process of fusion in the X-ray (lower left) and optical spectra of observation
According to scientists, double and triple black holes are detected extremely rarely: such systems are a natural consequence of the merger of galaxies. When three black holes interact, their merging can occur much faster than this happens with a double object of this kind.
Astronomers note that at distances much larger than the Earth’s SDSS J084905.51 + 111447.2 system with a “triple black hole”, at the dawn of the formation of the Universe, interactions between galaxies occurred much more often. It is possible that, beyond the reach of terrestrial telescopes, triple black holes are a very common occurrence.