31 August 2015 News

Markarian 231 quasar built around two twirling black holes

Black holes are serious business. But scientists now say that they can also twirl.

Well, sort of, anyway. A recent discovery in the Markarian 231 galaxy, located 600 million light years away from Earth, suggests that a quasar in it is actually the product of two black holes, of vast difference in size, that perform a peculiar gravitational twirl around each other.

Based on Hubble data, which revealed the find, scientists believe that the unusual arrangement was formed when two galaxies collided with each other.

So far, the Markarian 231 quasar is the first find of its kind for science.

Popular articles

Popular articles

Simulation of two merging black holes where the colours represent quantities related to the gravitational waves emitted from the system. LISA Pathfinder is paving the way for the detection of gravitational waves from space. Science

LISA Pathfinder – paving the way for future studies of the gravitational universe

Still from the film ‘Moonraker’ in 1979 showing the James Bond cinematic concept of troops engaged in a fight in Earth orbit. Opinion

Is a military space force justified?

Specials

Cleaning up space