Supermassive black holes are not directly visible through an optical telescope, but these are surrounded by clumps of bright stars and warm gas. "It's the same type of disc we see in objects that are 1,000 or even 100,000 times more luminous". The observations have shown that current models for gas dynamics in very faint, active galaxies have failed. However, the presence of this disk there has given us a unique opportunity to test the theory of relativity of Albert Einstein.
Scientist Chiara Mingarelli, from the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York City, explained that supermassive black hole pairs generate the loudest gravitational waves in the universe.
The black hole's disk is embedded so deep in is gravitational pull that even light is having a hard time escaping. The general relativity theory describes gravity as being the curvature of space, and it represents the relationship between time and space.
On the other hand, this is important because the existence of these black holes alone could help astronomers to better understand the black holes.
This is an intriguing peek at a disk very close to a black hole, so close that the velocities and the intensity of the gravitational pull are affecting how the photons of light look. When material gets too close it's swallowed up, but in less active galaxies the black holes at their core don't have the gravitational might to continuously draw material from the surrounding galaxy. Enlisting the help of gravitational wave physicists, the monster black holes 2.5 billion light-years away help to refine the approximations of how common supermassive black hole pairs like this actually are.
What's so interesting about this is that the disk is placed in the intense gravitational field of the black hole, and its light is intensified and stretched by the powerful grasp of the black hole.
Each one of those black holes has a mass over 800 million times than that of our Sun and the two of them are drawing closer and closer together in what has been called "a death spiral".
The thin disc encircling the starving black hole mimics the much larger discs found in extremely active galaxies, and that is what is puzzling astronomers.
Hubble's Imaging Spectrograph instrument was able to take the light and separate it into wavelengths.
"This result questions the very existence of true type 2 active galactic nucleus (AGN)", the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, which was published on July 11. However, this particular black hole, spotted by a team using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shouldn't exist.
Goulding, Greene and the other observational astronomers on the team detected the two titans with the Hubble Space Telescope.