SA team discovers triple black hole

Johannesburg - A team of South African astronomers have discovered a triple super-massive black hole system, the Square Kilometre Array SA said on Wednesday.

“The discovery demonstrates that South Africa has the scientific and technical expertise to be a world leader in radio astronomy,” project director Bernie Fanaroff said in a statement.

Although there were more than 150 participants at the workshop, many more will be involved in establishing the SKA key science projects. Credit: SKA South Africa

The research team funded by SKA SA was led by Cape Town astronomer Roger Deane.

The team represented the universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape, Rhodes University and SKA SA.

Multiple super-massive black hole systems were thought to have a significant impact on the way galaxies evolved.

“When these black holes get very close to one another they are expected to emit gravitational waves.”

He said the discovery was predicted a century ago and SKA had been designed to detect them.

“Although they were predicted theoretically, these exotic black hole systems have remained elusive for decades.”

Many more black holes were expected to be discovered through the telescopes being built in the country and continent. - Sapa