Report

Dual Jets from Binary Black Holes

Science  20 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5994, pp. 927-930
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191766

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Abstract

The coalescence of supermassive black holes—a natural outcome when galaxies merge—should produce gravitational waves and would likely be associated with energetic electromagnetic events. We have studied the coalescence of such binary black holes within an external magnetic field produced by the expected circumbinary disk surrounding them. Solving the Einstein equations to describe black holes interacting with surrounding plasma, we present numerical evidence for possible jets driven by these systems. Extending the process described by Blandford and Znajek for a single, spinning black hole, the picture that emerges suggests that the electromagnetic field extracts energy from the orbiting black holes, which ultimately merge and settle into the standard Blandford-Znajek scenario. Emissions along these jets could potentially be observable at large distances.

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