“Flash of Light from a Faraway Galaxy 4 Billion Years Ago” –First Triple Black Hole Merger

"Flash of Light from a Faraway Galaxy 4 Billion Years Ago" --First Triple Black Hole Merger

 

In a distant galaxy, two invisible merging black holes were nestled within a disk surrounding a much larger, invisible supermassive black hole 100 million time larger that the sun surrounded by a swarm of smaller black holes and stars exploded with light, generating gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime, that were captured as a flash of light four billions years later for the first time by astronomers at the NSF’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European Virgo detector on May 21, 2019, in what might prove to be an iconic event called S190521g.

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“Rapidly Blinking” –Dead White Dwarfs Rare Source of Gravitational Waves

Binary White Dwarfs

 

“We’ve seen many examples of a type of system where one white dwarf has been mostly cannibalized by its companion, but we rarely catch these systems as they are still merging like this one,” says Kevin Burdge at Caltech about two dead stars that have been spotted whipping around each other every seven minutes, and one of a few known sources of gravitational waves—ripples in space and time–that should keep blinking in the night sky for a hundred thousand years.

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