Scientists Find a Double Black Hole Inside a Nearby Quasar

Sep 2, 2015

NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

By Sarah Fecht

The brightest objects in the universe have massive black holes at their hearts.

Quasars (“quasi-stellar radio sources”) can be brighter than entire galaxies, and they’re thought to be fueled by the friction and heat of stuff that’s getting swallowed up by a black hole. (Although light can’t escape a black hole, it can escape from the event horizon—the boundary and point-of-no-return surrounding the black hole.)

Now, it turns out that the quasar nearest to Earth, located 600 million light-years away in a galaxy called Markarian 231, is actually built around two twirling black holes. It’s a first-of-its-kind type of find, and scientists think there could be a lot more quasars with binary hearts out there.

Hubble data revealed a mysterious hole in the quasar’s accretion disk, or the ring of gas that spirals around the black hole, waiting to fall in. After doing some modeling studies, scientists concluded that the system must be made of two black holes: a large one and a small one orbiting each other.


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13 comments on “Scientists Find a Double Black Hole Inside a Nearby Quasar

  • @OP – After doing some modeling studies, scientists concluded that the system must be made of two black holes: a large one and a small one orbiting each other.

    If the black holes are different masses, then they will be orbiting a barycentre between them, with the smaller one sweeping an area further out – Hence the cleared area shown near the black holes, inside the larger accretion disk.



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  • Lyon G
    Sep 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    During the day, you can see the sun in the sky and at night you see the moon and the stars.

    You can also see the Moon during the day when the sky is clear and reflected sunlight does not dazzle you.

    If you travel outside of the earth’s atmosphere into space, you will not see the sun or the stars.

    This is nonsense as probes, satellites and astronauts, have demonstrated.

    Even NASA has been keeping quiet on this one because science does not understand the nature of light.

    Science understands a great deal about electromagnetic radiation, and about the photo-receptors of eyes, cameras, and optical devices.
    I don’t know where you are getting your information, but it sounds more like some conspiracy theory, rather than an informed source based on objective evidence.

    You can see the stars through a window in a space shuttle provided the window includes a diffraction to interfere with the light.

    Space shuttle windows do not have diffraction gratings. The ISS Cupola uses fused silica and borosilicate glass windows to allow a clear view without interference.

    These issues have nothing to do with the radiation around Black Holes.



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  • ISS Cupola

    Yes, an ingenious, and I presume, most welcome addition.

    Three team members were delivered recently via Soyuz. Don’t know if there are problems in Houston as far as NASA and / or private sector successfully launching folks to the ISS.



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  • I don’t know where you are getting your information, but it sounds more like some conspiracy theory, rather than an informed source based on objective evidence.

    In Space, No One Can See The Stars

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    Thanks to our sources in the higher realms, we are now capable of delivering some of the deepest spiritual insights available anywhere today. These insights empower the individual to become a leading light in today’s Shift to higher consciousness as our clear and concise lessons about the nature of the universe can unleash your potential for dynamic spiritual growth.



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  • Olgun
    Sep 6, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    The only band that can do two gigs at the same time ?

    A mate of mine has a pedal gadget which records and provides repeat feed-back loops as you play, so you can accompany yourself during a live gig in the same song!

    Does that count?



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