The collision of supermassive black holes can be

Scientists in the coming years plan to launch into space two important orbital Observatory: gravitational wave detector LISA and the x-ray telescope Athena. Now experts say that these two large-scale project is extremely important to run at the same time as it promises a real breakthrough in the study of black holes.

Details are set out in a scientific paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Recall that LISA (“Lisa”) – gravitational space telescope, scheduled for launch in 2034. Start x-ray Observatory Athena (“Athena”) to be held in 2031.

However, when it comes to the construction of scientific equipment of new generation, terms are often very vague. Just remember that the infrared telescope “James Webb” was originally planned to be sent into orbit in 2007. Expected start date was postponed more than a dozen times, and now the launch is scheduled for 2021.

People often underestimate the amount of time needed to achieve the goal that in cognitive psychology this phenomenon was even given a special name: scheduling error. This feature of our thinking is evident even in the smallest things: to finish the text, to read the textbook, to lose weight. And, of course, errors of planning are inevitable when it comes to creating new and unique technicians and engineers do not know in advance the challenges they will face.

So in the coming 2020 is quite difficult to say exactly when to start “Lisa” and “Athena”. However, the authors of a new study are convinced: for the sake of science, these two lovely ladies have to go to orbital voyage with a minimum separation from each other.

the fact that two tools can monitor the process, yet never directly observed: the collision of supermassive black holes between them and the absorption of black holes of stellar mass and neutron stars.

“the Prospect of the simultaneous observation of these events is the unknown soldier.this area, which may imply a huge success. This promises to be a revolution in our knowledge of supermassive black holes, and [the process of] their growth in galaxies,” explains first author Sean McGee (Sean McGee) from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

the x-ray and gravitational telescope together will gather unique data about the awesome cosmic cataclysms.Illustration of R. Buscicchio (University of Birmingham), NASA, ESA, IFCA, Athena Community Office, G. Alexandrov, A. Burrows.

Explain that the current gravitational wave detectors are not able to catch the signal from these events, because it is too low frequency. But it must be capable of “Lisa”. Similarly, the current x-ray telescopes can’t see the radiation caused by these disasters it is not too bright. But can handle highly sensitive “Athena”.

in addition, the observation of one event in two fundamentally different ways will provide astronomers information about its nature.

According to the authors ‘ calculations, during the activity of the mission (about four years) in their field of vision will fall to ten mergers of black holes with masses between a hundred thousand to ten million suns. However, this preliminary assessment. No one knows exactly how powerful the gravity and x-ray signal generated a similar disaster. Thus it is possible telescopes will see a lot more clashes, “space monsters”. However, the reverse is not excluded.

However, even if a supermassive black hole missions are not lucky, their duet in any case remain very promising. We are talking about collisions of black holes of stellar mass.

Today, the gravitational wave detectors record such events several times a month. It is assumed that this occurs and the instant the x-ray flare. But the last one and never seen.

the fact is that astronomers simply do not know where to look (and sensitive x-ray telescopes field of view is very narrow). On a tip-off from the existing gravitational detectors can not count. These tools capture only the short waves, which are generated almost at the moment of collision.

the System simply does not have time to process the signal in real time. Because of the gravitational detector will signal the event when the wave from the collision has already reached Earth. And with it swept past our planet and x-ray photons, which move with the same light speed. This means that to bring the flash telescope is too late: she went out. Astronomers, so to speak, late to the feast.

LISA can radically change this situation. This tool will capture the longer waves. They are generated when black holes are just closer together, preparing to face. The “Athens” will have plenty of time to lock on to the desired point until the merge and fix the x-ray burst in the “hour X”.

By the way, earlier “News.Science” ( wrote that LISA can also help in the search for exoplanets.

Text: To.Science