SA astronomers discover triple black hole

2014-06-26 08:23

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A team of South African astronomers have discovered a triple super-massive black hole system, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa has said.

“The discovery demonstrates that South Africa has the scientific and technical expertise to be a world leader in radio astronomy,” project director Bernie Fanaroff said yesterday.

The research team funded by SKA was led by Cape Town astronomer Roger Deane.

The team represented the universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape, Rhodes University and SKA SA.

Multiple super-massive black hole systems were thought to have a significant impact on the way galaxies evolved.

“When these black holes get very close to one another, they are expected to emit gravitational waves.”

He said the discovery was predicted a century ago and SKA had been designed to detect them.

“Although they were predicted theoretically, these exotic black hole systems have remained elusive for decades.”

Many more black holes were expected to be discovered through the telescopes being built in the country and on the continent.

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