Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth?

I have read about two black holes that will collide in a few hundred years. How will this affect Earth!

You have obviously read an article about the two black holes which are believed to exist in the central region of the galaxy NGC 6240 which is 140 million light years from us (for example this one from the NY Times). It has long been suspected that the nucleus of this galaxy might hold two black holes, and recent Chandra observations claim to have proven this to be the case. The black holes are in orbit around each other and as such will collide, however not for approximately a 100 million years (definitely not in a few hundred years). Black hole mergers may be happening all the time in external galaxies with no noticeable effects on Earth, therefore it is unlikely that this event will affect Earth at all.

November 2002, Karen Masters (more by Karen Masters) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about Black Holes and Quasars: Previous | Next

More questions about The Earth: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

This page has been accessed 27841 times since November 20, 2002.
Last modified: December 8, 2003 2:57:40 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)