Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Black Holes On The Loose

Date:
May 30, 2007
Source:
American Physical Society
Summary:
Two merging black holes can generate gravitational waves so powerful that the merged hole shoots out of its host galaxy at a speed of up to 2,500 miles per second, according to a new simulation.

Two merging black holes can generate gravitational waves so powerful that the merged hole shoots out of its host galaxy at a speed of up to 2,500 miles per second, according to a new simulation.

This research, led by Manuela Campanelli at the Rochester Institute of Technology, demonstrates for the first time that the violent recoil that follows a merger is capable of ejecting the supermassive black holes known to lie at the heart of most light-emitting galaxies. These black holes may be cruising through the universe, virtually undetectable unless they should crash into something and gain matter.

The study found the optimal conditions for producing recoil speeds high enough to free a supermassive black hole from its host galaxy. In this scenario, the two black holes orbit around one another. They have equal masses and spin at the highest possible rate. They must be tilted onto their sides, with their axes of rotation lying in the plane of their orbit, and they must spin in opposite directions. They spiral toward one another, and when they merge, they are kicked in a direction perpendicular to the orbital plane.

Some astrophysicists have argued that such conditions are rather unlikely. The probability that black hole ejection will occur remains an open question for future research. Even if supermassive black holes have been removed from galactic cores, the odds that one of them will streak through our solar system are small enough that we need not fear a sudden obliteration.

A second study, conducted by Abraham Loeb of Harvard University, examines the possibility of detecting a black hole that has been kicked by gravitational recoil. If the black hole is surrounded by a ring of gas, it will emit light and resemble a star-like object known as a quasar.

A quasar exists when the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy rapidly acquires gas. As a result, the gas near the black hole heats up and radiates several times as much energy as the Milky Way. A quasar that is displaced from galactic core may well be a kicked black hole. Unfortunately, it would require a real stroke of luck to catch one in action - the gas fueling the light would only last about ten million years, so an ejected black hole would be dark by the time it left its galaxy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society. "Black Holes On The Loose." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529155041.htm>.
American Physical Society. (2007, May 30). Black Holes On The Loose. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529155041.htm
American Physical Society. "Black Holes On The Loose." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070529155041.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins