New research reveals that some black hole collisions may cascade, with the dense objects crashing into one another to create even more massive black holes.
This runaway growth may happen within groups of stars known a globular clusters.
“We think these clusters formed with hundreds to thousands of black holes that rapidly sank down in the center,” Carl Rodriguez, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a statement. Working with an international team of scientists, Rodriguez modeled how black hole collisions should function according to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The researchers found that black holes initially created by stars within globular clusters should grow more to be than 50 times as massive as Earth’s sun if they collide with other black holes.