Researchers have found that black holes in the depth of galaxies are not alone. They have their ‘friends’ with them. Hence, maybe the space isn’t so lonely after all.
A team of researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced today that they have discovered new evidence that suggests that Sgr A* — the supermassive black hole at the center of our home galaxy may have a “friend,” or neighboring black hole that orbits it.
The UCLA astrophysicist Smadar Naoz wrote in the announcement that there is no sure way of knowing that why most galaxies revolve around supermassive black holes like Sgr A*. Noaz’s and her team’s theory is that they do so because we are orbiting not one but two black holes that may be in similar formations to binary star systems.
It is believed that the galaxy was formed 100 million years ago when the first stars began dying. The deaths of these stars created the first black holes, whose gravitational pulls were so dense that they became the center of “modern” galaxies.
Galaxies went through evolution by colliding and merging with each other. As a result of these collisions, supermassive black holes were formed that were exponentially denser than our Sun.
Now it is being considered that instead of making one black hole, two were formed. One was bigger than the other.
Naoz wrote that there’s no way our galaxy is host to an orbiting pair of supermassive black holes because, as they study a star called SO-2 that orbits the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way every 16 years, the scientists who’ve been studying supermassive black holes since their existence was confirmed more than 20 years ago would have found it by now.
“But that doesn’t mean that a smaller companion black hole cannot still hide there,” she wrote, adding that it’s possible Sgr A*’s smaller friend “may not alter the orbit of SO-2 in a way we can easily measure.”