We may be able to find out - astronomers have predicted an imminent collision between two supermassive black holes, and it could cause chaos in the cosmos.
Black holes are already scary enough, but what would happen if two of them collided into each other? According to a report from CNET, such a collision would create shockwaves throughout space and time that would permanently alter the fabric of the universe. And astronomers believe such a collision could happen way sooner than anyone expected.
Two black holes from the Virgo constellation, billions of light-years away from Earth, are engaged in a dance of death. Two galaxies, centered around supermassive black holes, are set on a collision course with only 20 light-years of space between them.
According to Zoltan Haiman of Columbia University, the lead author of the recent study, “This is the closest we’ve come to observing two black holes on their way to a massive collision. Watching this process reach its culmination can tell us whether black holes and galaxies grow at the same rate, and ultimately test a fundamental property of space-time: its ability to carry vibrations called gravitational waves, produced in the last, most violent stage of the merger.”
Despite the fact that the collision between the two black holes could cause serious shifts in the galactic energy balance, there is little reason to worry here on Earth. There are billions upon billions of stars and light-years between the galaxies and our own. And even if there weren’t, we would still have plenty of time to get out of the way – the explosion isn’t predicted to occur for another 100,000 years.