A* Episode 19, Page 73

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  Finding supermassive black hole binariesMay 27, 2015 1:14 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:A post on Google+ led me to a recent research paper succinctly titled A Periodically Varying Luminous Quasar at z=2 from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey: A Candidate Supermassive Black Hole Binary in the Gravitational Wave-Driven Regime. It's a bit technical, but the upshot is that a) lots of galaxies should have not just one but *multiple* supermassive black holes at or near their centers, because this is what you'll have, at least for a while, after galaxies have collided, since each galaxy would have its own central supermassive black hole to throw into the mix, and b) these supermassive black hole binaries ("SMBHBs" :) should be detectable by looking for tell-tale variability in the light they give off—oh, and c) the researchers think they've found one using that method: quasar PSO J334.2028+01.4075, about 10 and a half billion light years away from Earth. And they think lots lots more will be found once this type of analysis is applied on a large scale!
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