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Dancing Black Holes Could Support Einstein's Theory Of Relativity

New research about the orbit of supermassive black hole binaries could provide evidence for gravitational waves.
Posted at 7:07 AM, Jul 10, 2017

A new discovery in the astronomy world could further help support some of Albert Einstein's predictions about gravitational waves.

Over a century ago, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space and time — and he theorized they were caused by the movement of massive galactic entities, such as black holes or supernovas.

One of the trickiest aspects of this theory? It's really hard to see or calculate. Experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory say finding merging black holes to support Einstein's theory is like finding the "holy grail of physics."

And that's what happened. For the first time, astronomers were able to observe and calculate the orbit of a supermassive black hole binary — and they've concluded that the two black holes will eventually merge.

This discovery also sheds more light on the effect supermassive black holes have on stars and the evolution of galaxies.

The research team behind the latest discovery plans to observe the black hole system again in three or four years. Until then, they hope to find similar systems to see if the phenomena is common.

One of the astronomers on the research team said, "Understanding more about [supermassive black holes] and what happens when they merge with one another could be important for our understanding for the universe."