Hope for Gravitational Astronomy from Colliding Black HolesDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Mar 31, 2015 15:34 IST
Solutions to decades old equations that describe the events when two spinning black holes in the binary system orbit each other spiralling towards a collision have been found by a team of international astronomers.
The findings are expected to have significant impact not just on the study of black holes, but also the probe for gravitation waves that have remained elusive. Gravitational waves represent a type of radiation that was predicted in the theory of general relativity in the cosmos propounded by Einstein.
Unlike the planets whose average distance from sun does not undergo change over time, general relativity has predicted that two black holes that orbit around each other will move closer due to the gravitation waves emitted by the system.
According to lead author Dr Michael Kesden of the University of Texas at Dallas:
An accelerating charge, like an electron, produces electromagnetic radiation, including visible light waves. Similarly, any time you have an accelerating mass, you can produce gravitational waves.
Merging Black Holes
The black holes spiral closer together due the energy lost to gravitational waves and the move to proximity continues till they merge making it the most energetic event in the universe, after the big bang. The energy instead of dissipating in the form of visible light that is easy to be seen, goes out as gravitations waves making it extremely difficult to detect.
Although Einstein s theories had predicted gravitational waves, they were not directly detected during his time. But, with the ability now to see gravitations waves, it could potentially open up a new window to study and view the universe
Photos of visible objects can be captured through optical telescopes while information relating to invisible energetic events can be studied through infrared and radio telescopes. The gravitation waves would provide a qualitatively new medium to explore the astrophysical phenomena
Optical telescopes can capture photos of visible objects, such as stars and planets, and radio and infrared telescopes can reveal additional information about invisible energetic events. Gravitational waves would provide a qualitatively new medium through which to examine astrophysical phenomena.
Hope for Gravitational Astronomy from Colliding Black Holes