Scientists claimed to have developed a novel detection method which will discover around 10 black holes in a year. It means the number currently known within two years will be doubled with this method. Also, the scientists will also be able to unlock the history of black holes in a little more than a decade.
The method established by the Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada has implications for the field of gravitational wave astronomy and the way in which we search for black holes and other dark objects in space.
“Within the next ten years, there will be sufficient accumulated data on enough black holes that researchers can statistically analyse their properties as a population,” said Avery Broderick, professor at the University of Waterloo.
“This information will allow us to study stellar mass black holes at various stages that often extend billions of years,” said Broderick.
Black holes emit zero radiation even after absorbing all light and matter. This makes them impossible to image, let alone detect against the black background of space.
Not much is known about the inner workings of black holes, but it is a known fact that they play a crucial role in the life cycle of stars as well as regulate the growth of galaxies.
Earlier this year, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US had announce the direct proof of the existence of the black holes after it detected gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes merging into one.
“We do not yet know how rare these events are and how many black holes are generally distributed across the galaxy,” said Broderick.
“For the first time we will be placing all the amazing dynamical physics that LIGO sees into a larger astronomical context,” he said.
A bolder approach to detecting and studying black holes has been proposed by the researchers, not as single entities, but in large numbers as a system by combining two standard astrophysical tools in use today: microlensing and radio wave interferometry.
When a dark object such as a black hole passes between us and another light source, such as a star, gravitational microlensing occurs.
The background star appears much brighter, not darker as in an eclipse, when the star’s light bends around the object’s gravitational field to reach Earth.
Even the largest telescopes that observe microlensing events in visible light have a limited resolution, telling astronomers very little about the object that passed by.
Instead of using visible light, Broderick and his team propose using radio waves to take multiple snapshots of the microlensing event in real time.
The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal.