Pakistani students of space science department at Institute of Space Technology (IST) in Islamabad have received international approval for their research on super-massive black holes and galaxy collisions in space.

Their research content has already published in a paper in a reputed scientific journal. Academic community- based at leading colleges of the world, like the science departments of Harvard, Columbia, and Stony Brook universities content has also cited the content.

Experts according to different reports have lauded the findings as ‘outstanding’.

Students have conducted their research on the rotation of galaxies and the evolution of super-massive black holes in the universe with help of a supercomputer facility located at Vanderbilt University (VU), United States (US).

They were able to figure out the physics behind colliding galaxies and the merger of their black holes by simulating space environments on a computer.

Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Associate Professor at VU and the chairperson of the US Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) team, has helped students as their external supervisor, and Peter Berczik from the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed the simulation code to employ in their study.

Fazeel Mahmood Khan, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Astrophysics from Max Planck Research School in Heidelberg, Germany, has supervised the research project.

Khan told that research was crucial to calculate ‘event rates’ for missions of the European Space Agency (ESA) designed to detect gravitational waves in space. The detection of gravitational waves for the first time by an Earth-based observatory was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017.

The findings of the research study have also been published in Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), United Kingdom (UK).

Muhammad Awais Mirza, the lead author of the research paper, said that they have attempted to map the progression of a pair of super-massive black holes located at the heart of galaxies under the influence of the rotation of neighboring stars.

Afnan Tahir, an associate on the study said that most super-massive black hole pairs tend to have the same sense of rotation as their host galaxy, even if their initial sense of rotation is counter aligned to the host galaxy.

Adnan Mehmood Baig, coauthor said that outcome of the study tells us that super-massive black hole pairs are not present right at the galactic center but can fall well outside the center.

He explained that astronomers may have to point their telescopes away from central regions while targeting the super-massive black holes.

Farrukh Chishtie, an expert in the field of astrophysics, has congratulated the young research team for making the country proud and appreciated their role in advancing the cause of science in the international community.