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Binary black hole - Video Learning - WizScience.com

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Published on Sep 28, 2015

A "binary black hole" is a system consisting of two black holes in close orbit around each other. Subtypes include stellar binary black holes, which are remnants of high-mass binary star systems, and binary supermassive black holes, which are believed to be the result of galactic mergers.

Supermassive binary black hole candidates have been found, and are considered important in astrophysics in that they are the strongest known sources of gravitational waves in the universe. As the orbiting black holes give off these waves, the orbit decays, and the orbital period decreases. This stage is called binary black hole inspiral. The black holes will merge once they are close enough. Once merged, the single hole goes through a stage called ring-down, where any distortion in the shape is dissipated as more gravitational waves.

Super massive black hole binaries are believed to form during galaxy mergers. Some likely candidates for binary black holes are galaxies with double cores still far apart. An example double nucleus is NGC 6240. Much closer black hole binaries are likely in single core galaxies with double emission lines. Examples include SDSS J104807.74+005543.5 and EGSD2 J142033.66 525917.5. Other galactic nuclei have periodic emissions suggesting large objects orbiting a central black hole, for example in OJ287.

The quasar PG 1302-102 appears to have a binary black hole with an orbital period of 1900 days.

The natural separation of two supermassive black holes at the center of a galaxy is a few to a few tens of parsecs . This is the separation at which the two black holes form a bound, binary system. In order to generate gravitational waves at a significant level, the binary must first shrink to a much smaller separation, roughly 0.01 - 0.001 pc. This is called the "final-parsec problem". A number of solutions to the final parsec problem have been proposed; most involve the interaction of the massive binary with surrounding matter, either stars or gas, which can extract energy from the binary and cause it to shrink. For instance, gravitational slingshot ejection of passing stars can bring the two black holes together in a time much less than the age of the universe.




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