CITA postdoc links gravitational waves to observable electromagnetic jets in binary black hole merger
Astronomers may be able to get an early warning about where to look for merging black holes and study gravitational waves, thanks to a new model created by Canadian and U.S. astrophysicists.
Two supermassive black holes, like the ones found at the center of most galaxies, produce strong gravitational waves when they are coming together and merge during a galaxy collision. If they are surrounded by the expected magnetized circumbinary disk, the magnetic fields around them will be influenced by the binary dynamics. As a result, the system will produce two jets of electromagnetic radiation which can potentially be observable at large distances. This model, described numerically by Carlos Palenzuela (CITA), Luis Lehner (PI & Guelph) and Steve Liebling (LIU) and published in Science, gives to the astronomers and early warning about where to look for merging black holes and study gravitational waves.
CBC News Article
Electromagnetic radiation (Poynting flux) in a binary black hole at the merger time.
Published: August 23, 2010