Gravitational Wave Observations

Galaxy NGC 6240


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Merger of Black Holes

Mains level: Black holes and gravitation waves

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shared the images of Galaxy NGC 6240 that contains two supermassive Black Holes in the process of merging.

From astronomers to general space enthusiasts, black holes are a topic of interest for many. If you’re someone who spends a lot of their time researching facts about this region of space-time or watching videos on the same, then you must check out this news.

Galaxy NGC 6240

  • The black holes, located in Galaxy NGC 6240 are 3,000 light-years apart and they will drift together to form a larger black hole millions of years from now.
  • As per a blog post by the observatory, the merging process began some 30 million years ago
  • The pairs of massive black holes in the process of merging are expected to be the most powerful sources of gravitational waves in the Universe.
  • Seen as the bright ‘dots’ near the centre of this image, the black holes are just 3,000 light-years apart.

About Chandra X-ray Observatory

  • It is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emissions from very hot regions of the universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.
  • Orbiting at 139,000 km in space, the telescope was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia during STS-93 by NASA in 1999.

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