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Triple Black Holes 2014-06-25

A team of astronomers led by Dr. Roger Deane of the University of Cape Town has imaged a triple supermassive black hole system in the distant galaxy known as J1502+1115. Finding three supermassive black holes in one galaxy is rare, and was probably produced by galaxies colliding and merging in the past, in what would have been a cosmic fireworks display.

The European VLBI Network (EVN) of radio telescopes was used for imaging the galaxy at radio wavelengths with very high resolution in order to resolve the close pair of black holes.

The Hartebesthoek 26-m telescopes operated as part of the EVN for these observations and was critical in achieving the very high resolution required for the success of experiment.

The results were published in the journal Nature.

For information see webpages such as space.com.