Fast Radio Bursts
- Long ago and far away, a duo of dancing supermassive black holes seem to be spiraling in towards each other, eventually doomed to collide within a stupendous, almost unimaginable, cosmic smash-up. Dancing at night, the strange pair will merge merely a million years from now, liberating energy equivalent to 100 million supernova blasts, by which massive stars perish. If not all, large galaxies in the Universe--including our own Milky Way--contain supermassive black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of Suns, and these objects of incredible darkness and their host galaxies appear to evolve together, or "co-evolve", the dark-hearts of most. Theory predicts that as galaxies collide and eventually merge, growing a lot more massive because of this, so too do their hearts of darkness. In the January 7, 2015 issue in the journal Nature, a team of astronomers report on the weird repeating light signal from a distant quasar that they say is probably caused by a duo of dancing supermassive black holes within the last act of the merger--something that is predicted from theory but which has never been seen before! A quasar is an extremely brilliant, luminous object that out-dazzles each of the stars in its host galaxy combined, and it is visible from throughout the entire Universe!