Astronomy Reports

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 265–274 | Cite as

Black holes in close binary systems and galactic nuclei

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Abstract

After 50 years of observational studies of black holes, great progress has been achieved in this branch of astrophysics. Several dozen stellar-mass black holes have been discovered in X-ray binaries, and several hundred supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei. The remarkable recent discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes in a binary system by LIGO marks the beginning of a new stage in black-hole research. It is quite possible that gravitational-wave studies will provide definitive evidence for the existence of event horizons in black holes in the near future. On the other hand, the development of methods for space and ground-based radio-interferometry observations provides hope that it will be possible to obtain images of “shadows” of supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei, and to observe directly processes occurring in the vicinities of the event horizons of supermassive black holes. This is important for tests of general relativity in extremely strong gravitational fields.

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sternberg Astronomical InstituteMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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