Each 800 million times more massive than our sun are about 2.5 billion light-years away from Earth.
The presence of the black hole disc in such a low-luminosity active galaxy has astronomers surprised. The disc is so deeply embedded in the black hole's gravitational field that the light from the disc is being altered, giving astronomers a look into the dynamic processes close to a black hole.
NGC 3147 should be one of those galaxies, and scientists assumed its black hole was starving for matter before they spotted the material disc speeding around the center at over 10 percent the speed of light. When galaxies merge, the supermassive black holes drift to the center of the newly unified galaxy and begin orbiting one another.
An global team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope found a thin disk whirling around a supermassive black hole 130 million light-years away, but the disk shouldn't exist there based on current theories.
There are theories, however, that black holes enter a sort of "stall" when they get around three light-years apart.
"Even though these two supermassive black holes are already emitting gravitational waves, these waves will".More news: R. Kelly arrested on federal child pornography charges: US attorney
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It should be noted that astronomers were not aware of supermassive black hole collision until now, and this new development will help humans to know more about the aftermath of these crashes.
"The type of disc we see is a scaled-down quasar that we did not expect to exist", Stefano Bianchi, first author of a new paper on the black hole published Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, said in a statement. Enlisting the help of gravitational wave physicists, the monster black holes 2.5 billion light years away help to refine the estimates of how common supermassive black hole pairs like this actually are.
This black hole now provides scientists with an opportunity to test Albert Einstein's theory of relativity which is a combination of two theories - general and special relativity. Bigger galaxies have bigger black holes and therefore stronger gravitational waves. Gravitational waves from supermassive black hole binaries are up to a million times louder than those previously detected by LIGO. This is also the length of time scientists estimate the black hole will start producing powerful gravitational waves. What's more, the galaxy's core is shooting out two unusually colossal plumes of gas.
The ESA's Marco Chiaberge added: "Without Hubble, we wouldn't have been able to see this because the black-hole region has a low luminosity".
Co-author Professor Michael Strauss, the associate chair of Princeton's Department of Astrophysical Sciences said, "This is the first example of a close pair of such massive black holes that we've found, but there may well be additional binary black holes remaining to be discovered". For its time in history, the galaxy harboring the newfound supermassive black hole pair "is basically the most luminous galaxy in the universe", Goulding says.