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Sep 17, 2015

We Finally Know What Is Sending These Weird Black Hole Light Flashes

Posted by in category: cosmology

When scientists spotted this pair of black holes, it was a rare chance to observe black holes in the process of colliding. Soon, however, as they looked closer, scientists were consumed with a brand new question: Uh, hey, what’s that blinking light?

The light isn’t coming from the pair of colliding black holes (named PG 1302-102) 3.5 billion light years away from us, it’s coming from the turbulence around them. What that doesn’t explain, though, is why the light “flashes” rhythmically—regularly brightening, then dimming. So researchers Daniel D’Orazio, Zoltan Haiman, and David Schiminovich at Columbia University built a simulation of the pair and have now come up with an explanation for just what we’re seeing.

It’s the orbit of the black holes.

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  • Kris on September 17, 2015 5:10 pm

    If its Sinus Rhythm its alive!