Astronomers get the best view of close-up coupons of super-massive black holes in the galaxy collision cores as the holes approach closer and closer, glorifying the stars and rapidly growing to huge magnitude as they are close to coalescence.
Michael Koss from Eureka Scientifica used infrared high resolution images from Hubble Space Telescope and W.M. Keck Observatory to conduct the largest research of even the nearby galactic cores, looking through dense clouds of gas and dust that cover the growing super-massive black holes.
"Seeing the pairs of joining the nuclei of galaxies associated with these huge black holes so close, it was pretty unbelievable," Koss said. "In our research, we see two cores of galaxy exactly when the images are taken, and you can not argue with it, which is a very clear result that does not rely on the interpretation."
Laura Blecha from the University of Florida said that computer simulations of galactic collisions "show that black holes grow fastest during the last phases of fusion, close to the time when black holes work, and that's what we found in our research."
"The fact that black holes grow faster and faster, as the advancement of the connection talks about galaxy meetings, are really important to our understanding of how these objects have become so monstrously large."
Observations and team results are published in the journal Nature.
The images provide an overview of the species that present the destiny of the super-massive black holes in the Milky Way cores and the Andromeda galaxies, which are expected to collapse together in five billion years. They also illustrate the phenomenon that was more common in the early universe when galactic joints were more frequent.
Connecting the Galaxy lasts for a billion years or more to launch its tracks, fueling huge amounts of gas and dust as it slowly moves to the gravitational encounter. The cast material can form a dense "curtain" around the center of the galactic fusion, ensuring a ready source of cosmic food for the central black holes on the feast.
The fastest growth is generated during the last 10 to 20 million years of merger. The Hubble and Keck Observatory images show the best views of this final phase, when the fast growing black holes in the galaxy known as the NGC 6240 are just 3000 light years apart.
"Gas falling on black holes emits X-rays, and X-ray light tells how fast the black hole grows," Koss said. "I did not know if we could find hidden fusion, but we doubted, based on computer simulations, that it would be in heavily curved galaxies, so we tried to study the dust with the sharpest possible images of the Black Hole."
It was not easy. The team first cleansed the X-ray data from Neil Gehrels Swift telescopes for ten years and then studied Hubble's archive, identifying the galaxies that are located in the X-ray data. They then used Keck for infrared observations of black holes that make up an X-ray device that was not found in Hubble's archive.
"People have been conducting studies to look for these black holes in interaction, but what really enabled this study were x-rays that could penetrate the drip of dust," Koss said. "We also looked a little further into the universe so we could explore the larger volume of space, giving us more chances to find lighter, rapidly growing black holes."
Since infrared telescopes will provide more detailed views of dusty collisions of the galaxy, enabling astronomers to measure mass, growth rates, and dynamics of cross pair black holes.