24: Black Holes Feeding On Colliding Galaxies

There are a lot of galaxies in the universe — billions and billions of them, in fact. And many of them are in the process of collision: some collided long ago, some are merging right now, and some will slam together in the distant future. When they collide, the supermassive black holes in their cores can collide and merge too — and that's a pretty extreme event. Studying how fast these mergers take place is changing astronomers’ models of galaxy formation and evolution.

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Syzygy is produced by Dr Chris Stewart and co-hosted by Dr Emily Brunsden from the Department of Physics at the University of York.

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Things we talk about in this episode:

The merging galaxies paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0652-7 

Hubblesite article about the story: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/astronomers-unveil-growing-black-holes-in-colliding-galaxies 

Simulations of galaxy collisions: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10687 

Stephan’s Quintet: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140327.html

Keck Observatory: http://www.keckobservatory.org 

Gravitational wave discovery: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20170927 

Simulations of SMBH mergers: https://www.space.com/42017-merging-supermassive-black-holes-eerie-glow.html 

Milky Way and Andromeda are going to collide: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/milky-way-collide.html 

And they will form … Milkdromeda! https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30955 

Andromeda in the night sky: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap061228.html

If only Andromeda was a bit brighter: http://i.imgur.com/EpuhHJa.png