What happens when black holes collide?
It is possible for two black holes to collide. Once they come so close that they cannot escape each other’s gravity, they will merge to become one bigger black hole. Such an event would be extremely violent. Even when simulating this event on powerful computers, we cannot fully understand it. However, we do know that a black hole merger would produce tremendous energy and send massive ripples through the space-time fabric of the Universe. These ripples are called gravitational waves.
Nobody has witnessed a collision of black holes yet. However, there are many black holes in the Universe and it is not preposterous to assume that they might collide. In fact, we know of galaxies in which two supermassive black holes move dangerously close to each other. Theoretical models predict that these black holes will spiral toward each other until they eventually collide.
Gravitational waves have never been directly observed. However, they are a fundamental prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Detecting them would provide an important test of our understanding of gravity. It would also provide important new insights into the physics of black holes. Large instruments capable of detecting gravitational waves from outer space have been built in recent years. Even more powerful instruments are under construction. The moment they detect their first gravitational wave, you are sure to hear about it!
Black Hole Collision May Have Exploded With Light
In a first, astronomers may have seen light from the merger of two black holes, providing opportunities to learn about these mysterious dark objects.
When two black holes spiral around each other and ultimately collide, they send out gravitational waves – ripples in space and time that can be detected with extremely sensitive instruments on Earth. Since black holes and black hole mergers are completely dark, these events are invisible to telescopes and other light-detecting instruments used by astronomers. However, theorists have come up with ideas about how a black hole merger could produce a light signal by causing nearby material to radiate.
Astronomy: What is a black hole, and what happens when two collide?
A black hole is an area in space where the gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape.
It is an area where a massive amount of matter has been squeezed together into a small area. And where you have mass, you have gravity.
They are not tears or “holes” in the universe – they are real objects. In fact, black holes are spheres, like a ball sitting in space just like Earth or the Sun.