848M Light-Years Away Galaxy’s Cosmic Flare Reveals Dancing Black Holes

The flare originating from the supermassive black hole in another galaxy comprises mass that is more than 10,000,000 times that of the Sun.

Scientists aiming to trace powerful flares from the nucleus of a distant galaxy found that flares are actually originating from a binary system containing black holes. These are paticularly refering to a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a smaller intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH).

The flare known as ASASSN-20qc discovered in December of 2020 can be described as a sudden burst of energy coming from the center of a farther away galaxy in simpler words.

This big bright cosmic event is emitting a lot of X-rays, a type of high-energy radiation from the nucleus of a galaxy that is roughly 848 million light-years away.

Understanding the evolution of black holes

Analyzing these flares is helping scientists gain a better understanding of how black holes grow and change over time. This study aided astronomers in studying how objects interact in space, giving us insights into the dynamics of galaxies and the universe overall.

According to a statement by the researchers, this new astronomical analysis sheds light on how one such system may be producing a powerful flare in the nucleus of a far-away galaxy.

“By parsing patterns in the absorption of X-rays, the observations suggest the flare may originate from an intermediate black hole orbiting a larger, supermassive cousin,” explained the statement.

Apparently, there is a dynamic orbital interaction between SMBH and IMBH in the binary system which researchers describe as dancing black holes.

“Black holes – the ultra-dense corpses of collapsed giant stars – can be found orbiting stars and other stellar objects. These binary systems often produce flares that allow astronomers to identify them from millions of light-years away.”

Through scientists’ investigation of X-ray data and spectral observations, they found that the flare exhibits quasi-periodic outflows every 8.5 days.

Mass much greater than the Sun

The flare originating from the supermassive black hole in another galaxy comprises a mass that is more than 10,000,000 times that of the Sun.

By ruling out alternative explanations such as unstable accretion disks or “clumpy” outflows, they concluded that the most likely scenario involves the perturbation of the inner accretion flow surrounding the SMBH by the orbiting intermediate-mass black hole.

As per the statement, another researcher believes that another scenario is at play here where an orbiting stellar body repeatedly crosses and perturbs the inner accretion flow surrounding the SMBH.

This alternative scenario offers a different perspective on the cause of the flare, highlighting the complexity of the interactions in the binary system containing the dancing black holes.

The researchers evaluated numerous possible masses of this scenario and found that the flare is likely to be a “smaller, intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) roughly 100 to 10,000 times the mass of the Sun.”

“The identification of such SMBH–IMBH binaries […] has fundamental implications for multi-messenger astrophysics and for our understanding of black hole growth and evolution,” the researchers highlighted.

The study was published in the journal–Science Advances.
848M Light-Years Away Galaxy’s Cosmic Flare Reveals Dancing Black Holes 848M Light-Years Away Galaxy’s Cosmic Flare Reveals Dancing Black Holes Reviewed by Explore With Us on March 28, 2024 Rating: 5

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