Black Hole Merger

Jerseem Rada, Reporter

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On January 29, scientists say their laser labs picked up ripples in space. They saw two black holes weighing in more than 34-50 times the mass of the sun. The gravitational wave was picked up at least 5 billion light years away. Scientists say this is the 11th gravitational wave scientist have found.

But to know how it happens, we need to know what black holes are; Black holes are fallen stars or stars that have died, and they can be huge or even tiny. You can’t escape from a black hole, and even light can’t escape from the black hole. Black holes are invisible to the telescope, so how do we see them or know that they actually exist? Science journalist Dan Falk says, “Stars shine because of the nuclear fusion reactions taking place in their cores. The reactions create an outward pressure that counters the inward pull of gravity. As a result, the star neither expands or contracts. But when a star’s fuel supply is exhausted and the outward pressure stops, gravity causes the star to shrink” (NBC News).

what a black hole may look like

Taken from

What happens if we get sucked into one? Well, you will be torn apart by gravity. On the Youtube science show Vsauce, narrator Michael Stevens said that going through a black hole would be “very weird and your point of view changes. You can see the back of your head and the universe starts growing small” (Youtube).

So now that we know a bit of black holes, how do they merge? They don’t go head on like bump right into each other. They actually rotate together and keep going closer and closer until they finally merge. Scientists are always looking for more ways to look for black holes, and they study the gravitational waves that occur when they come together.