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Or they could be doing the waltz, actually. Either way, though, they’re dancing. Julie Comerford, of the illustrious UC Berkeley, has just presented research that found two black holes dancing.

As amusing as it might be to picture two black holes, arms outstretched, debonairly gliding across a hardwood floor lit by chandeliers, this is not entirely the case. In fact, these black holes are circling around each other because, according to Comerford, their galaxies may be merging. These are supermassive black holes (millions or billions of times the mass of the sun) which lie at the centers of galaxies.

Their merging tells astronomers a great deal about how galaxies come together and evolve. “‘We expect the universe to be littered with these waltzing black holes,’ Comerford said. ‘But until recently, only a few had ever been found.’” So this discovery is cause for celebration (perhaps even a dance party of our own).

Waltzing black holes. What’s next? Spiral arms doing the fox trot? Quasars breaking into spontaneous rumbas? The possibilities are truly endless.

Image source: Ethan Hein under Creative Commons
A Black Hole ‘Dance Party’ [US News and World Report]



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