Black Hole Collision Will Unleash Energy Equaling 20,000 Supernovae

Two massive black holes will collide—and it will be catastrophic!

8. 25. 16 by Ramon Perez
Caltech/NASA
Image by Caltech/NASA

10,000 years into the future, mankind will witness what may be the most spectacular devastation in our entire existence. Proven to be inevitable, two massive black holes are set to have the ultimate collision of all time.

One of these black holes weighs around 140 million suns. Massive, right? Think again. Its competitor, the OJ 287, is determined to be the most massive black hole in the known universe—weighing around 18 billion Suns. That’s about 130 times bigger than it’s contender! Quite the bully don’t you think?

The smaller one currently orbits the OJ 287, on its way to being sucked up. As mentioned earlier, the smaller black hole has no chance of escape. Energy leaches away from the binary orbit, bringing the pair closer together and making each cycle around the behemoth a little shorter than the last.

When black holes merge, the bigger one either banishes the smaller one out of its galaxy or eats it up like a midnight snack. In this case, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the U.S. has offered us a mini preview of the event.

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In the end, the violent impact caused by this collision will unleash a flood of ultraviolet radiation, releasing as much energy as 20,000 supernovae explosions in the same spot.


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