- The binary star system MPG 435 in the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the most massive in the universe, is destined to collide and potentially form two black holes. This catastrophic event could cause ripples in the fabric of space-time detectable throughout the universe.
- The stars in this binary system are already in partial contact, exchanging cosmic material. This unprecedented situation allows astronomers to learn more about the formation of black hole binaries and could result in the most massive contact binaries ever observed.
- The estimated time until this collision is approximately 18 billion years. This event could cause disturbances in our galactic neighborhood and produce gravitational waves, possibly detectable from Earth if our civilization continues to exist and progress.
Dreadful news for the universe has emerged only 210,000 light-years away from Earth, in the Small Magellanic Cloud. It is about two young stars that will become two fearsome black holes, from which only an unstoppable monster will survive, which will run through our entire “galactic neighborhood,” leaving in its wake a “true hell” where not even light will be able to escape from its gravitational power.
It is the binary system MPG 435, part of a young star cluster called NGC 346. It is considered one of the most massive in our cosmos and has been the subject of interest and study by astronomers.
Stars are already in a constant cosmic collision.
According to the scientists who published their study in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the SSN 7 binary system stars orbit each other every three days. They are in partial contact, exchanging cosmic material. One “feeds” on the other. They are recorded to be the most massive contact binaries in the universe’s history, at least from what we have observed so far. The team, made up of researchers from University College London (UCL) and the University of Potsdam, explained how these two stars would collide at some point in the future and create massive ripples in the fabric of space-time. Eventually, they will become black holes, and before that, their orbits will begin to decay, and a cataclysmic event will occur that will be detectable throughout the universe.
They will form in “a couple” of million years.
What is dangerous in itself is not their formation as such, but that after this, they will orbit each other for billions of years before colliding with such force that they will generate gravitational waves and ripples in the fabric of space-time, which theoretically could be detected with instruments on Earth, if we continue with our civilization, of course. The experts analyzed that a known binary star – made up of two stars orbiting the same center of gravity – was detected using several special ground-based observatories. They measured different bands of light coming from the binary star through spectroscopic analysis.
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Once they got the information, they used data from multiple periods collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at ESO s Large Telescope in Chile, among others. What they were looking for was to get the wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet to near-infrared. With this, they discovered that one of the stars in contact would probably become a black hole and feed on the other… although another theory is that when both perish, the two “devourers of worlds” will fight each other for the corona.
“Thanks to the Virgo and LIGO gravitational wave detectors, dozens of black hole mergers have been detected in recent years,” explained student Matthew Rickard of University College London and co-author of the paper. “But so far we have yet to observe stars that are predicted to collapse into black holes of this size and merge on a timescale shorter than or even comparable to the age of the universe.”
The specialist detailed that his best-fit model suggests that both stars will merge as black holes in 18 billion years. This is highly relevant for the community because finding stars on this evolutionary path so close to our Milky Way gives us an excellent opportunity to learn even more about how these black hole binaries form, which the experts concluded.