Sunday August 30, 2015

Our Nearest Quasar Is Powered By A Double Black Hole

My understanding is that a quasar could be the center of, or the formation of, some distant galaxy. The hubble has found that the one closest to us involves a binary black hole. I wonder what that would even look like in motionآ—or what kind of juicy data TARS would get from it.

News Image

If only one black hole were present in the center of the quasar, the whole accretion disk made of surrounding hot gas would glow in ultraviolet rays. Instead, the ultraviolet glow of the dusty disk abruptly drops off toward the center. This provides observational evidence that the disk has a big donut hole encircling the central black hole. The best explanation for the donut hole in the disk, based on dynamical models, is that the center of the disk is carved out by the action of two black holes orbiting each other. The second, smaller black hole orbits in the inner edge of the accretion disk, and has its own mini-disk with an ultraviolet glow.