Experts predict that we will witness gravitational waves from merging supermassive black holes within the next decade.
If you think the discovery of gravitational waves from the collision of black holes and neutron stars is impressive, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Researchers believe that gravitational waves will be spotted within the next 10 years from colliding supermassive black holes, the gigantic masses at the centers of galaxies.
The study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, predicts that we will detect gravitational waves from such a supermassive black hole merger within the next 10 years. It’s the first time a study has used actual data rather than simulations to make this prediction as well.
These gravitational waves will be among the most powerful in the entire universe, and will totally dwarf the mergers that have so far been detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. LIGO made headlines in 2016 after it first detected the much theorized about but never before witnessed gravitational waves.
“The gravitational waves from these supermassive black hole binary mergers are the most powerful in the universe,” says study lead author Chiara Mingarelli, a research fellow at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. “They absolutely dwarf the black hole mergers detected by LIGO.”