The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was able to capture the interaction of two black holes whose eventual collision created a mega flare said to be brighter than a trillion stars.
According to CNET's latest report, the black holes were discovered in OJ 287 galaxy, which is a black hole binary system that produces extreme light radiation once every 12 years.
The report stated that two black holes are trapped in an endless dance 3.5 billion light-years away from Earth.
A supermassive black hole can be found at the center of the OJ 287 galaxy which is the largest ever recorded. The black hole is about 18 billion times more massive than the Sun.
On the other hand, it's dancing partner is much smaller, but it is still 150 million times more massive than the Sun.
It was explained in the report that the smaller dancing black hole crashes through a huge disk of debris orbiting around the supermassive black hole once every 12 years.
And when it happens, an explosion of light is created by the collision, which can be seen back on Earth because it is brighter than billion stars. This is called a "mega flare."
Dancing black holes create super bright mega flare: NASA says it could end in catastrophe
According to CNET, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was able to create an animation showing the space phenomenon.
It shows the smaller black hole crashing through the disk at irregular intervals because of its oblong orbit and imperfect timing.
The scientists had a hard time identifying when the next explosion of light might occur. Because of the challenge encountered, the team of researchers created a model in 2010, to predict when the next mega flare will show up. The virtual model was able to predict the appearance of the mega flare within three weeks.
#Space: #BlackHole bends #EscapingLight 'like a #boomerang' — even light can't resist the pull of these #irresistible cosmic objects
► https://t.co/6FIO6B22Vh via @LiveScience pic.twitter.com/5NDG80EVbm — Maxime Duprez (@maximaxoo) April 28, 2020
The model was refined in 2018 by a group of scientists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India.
It was predicted by the new model that the next flare would peak on July 31, 2019. However, NASA's Splitzer Telescope was able to make another prediction since the space agency was able to observe OJ 287 at just the right time.
The Astrophysical Journal Letters published the new study on Tuesday, April 28, and confirmed that NASA's predictions for when the flare would occur were right.
"When I first checked the visibility of OJ 287, I was shocked to find that it became visible to Spitzer right on the day when the next flare was predicted to occur," said Seppo Laine, an associate staff scientist on Spitzer based at Caltech.
"It was extremely fortunate that we would be able to capture the peak of this flare with Spitzer because no other human-made instruments were capable of achieving this feat at that specific point in time," he added.
According to the study, the dance will ultimately end in catastrophe since the smaller black hole is getting close to its partner because of decaying orbit.
The scientists predict that the supermassive black hole will devour its smaller partner within the next 10,000 years.