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Space & Astronomy

Black hole collision may disrupt space-time

By T.K. Randall
September 18, 2015 · Comment icon 21 comments



What happens when two black holes collide ? Image Credit: NASA / Alain Riazuelo
Scientists have predicted that the event will create ripples throughout the space-time continuum.
The two black holes, which are located in the quasar PG 1302-102, are believed to be so close together that the space separating them is only around the size of our solar system.

At a distance of 3.5 billion light years the monumental collision is unlikely to cause any problems for us here on Earth, but when it eventually does happen scientists predict that it will produce ripples in time and space that can be picked up from anywhere in the universe.
The collision is expected to produce a blast equivalent to the power of 100 million star explosions, blowing away all nearby stars and planets while at the same time emitting gravitational waves - ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein almost a century ago.

Given that the two black holes are unlikely to collide for another 100,000 years however it will be up to the scientists of the future to make sense of what happens afterwards.

Perhaps by then it will even be possible for them to go and observe the event first-hand.

Source: Popular Science | Comments (21)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
So the Silver Surfer may have ridden this monster gravitational wave through our solar system eons ago?
Comment icon #13 Posted by FTWind 7 years ago
Im afraid a ripple in time would not effect us much. Meaning, time is a thing of perception and if everything around us, including our brain, were to be hit by this ripple in time, we would still percieve the time at the same rate, for everything would still be going at the same rate in time.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
I'm not sure we have much evidence for the existence of gravity waves (the only thing I know is the observation of the decay of orbiting pulsars happens as we would expect if the energy were being carried off by such waves). What we do have is strong theoretical reason dating from Einstein that they should exist. The demonstration that they do exist would be another feather in Einstein's cap.
Comment icon #15 Posted by smokeycat 7 years ago
One question I have is: do they obey the speed limit of light? If this happened 3.5 billion years ago maybe the effects have come and gone through this part of the universe? That is the thing I wonder about. Gravity and the speed of light, The speed of gravity was measured a few years back. The experiment showed that it travels at the speed of light. https://www.newscien...ement-revealed/
Comment icon #16 Posted by djfxw 7 years ago
If the wave does ripple through the universe, then the gravity wells of all planets could be disrupted and cause the planets to 'bob' and most likely cause the planets to tilt or completey roll over. The USA could become the new Antartic.
Comment icon #17 Posted by cerberusxp 7 years ago
Everything that produces gravity creates a space time dimple in the fabric of space time, just as Einstein predicted. In the case where two black holes collide, well waves produced from such a collision would be beyond comprehension. The earth for example has it's own dimple in space time, that is time as we perceive it flows differently from time say on Mars or other planets. The following link is our gravity "dimple". I contend that the Earth already has spacial time anomalies that happen around the globe naturally at times. I point to the Bermuda triangle and all the others around the plane... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by cerberusxp 7 years ago
Also as an after thought might this collision cause a minor Big Bang? Creating more Galaxies? Who knows how many Galaxies these two already gobbled up. If this has already happened before why haven't we seen the results of black hole collisions?
Comment icon #19 Posted by jerhiko 7 years ago
- If this has already happened before why haven't we seen the results of black hole collisions? That was my thought
Comment icon #20 Posted by sepulchrave 7 years ago
If this has already happened before why haven't we seen the results of black hole collisions? Probably because space is big, large and identifiable black holes aren't that common, and possibly we don't exactly know what the post-collision wreckage will look like. Consider that this potential collision was only identified now, although the pair of black holes has probably been in basically the same state for all of human history.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Mr Supertypo 7 years ago
The speed of gravity was measured a few years back. The experiment showed that it travels at the speed of light. https://www.newscien...ement-revealed/ If you go faster, you leave this universe....


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