Researchers detect 1st merger between black holes with eccentric orbits

Scientists have for the first time confirmed the merger of two highly eccentric black holes. 

Egg-shaped eccentric orbits form when two black holes spiral towards each other and collide under each other’s strong gravitational influence. Therefore, highly eccentric orbits may suggest black holes repeatedly snack on other black holes in densely populated areas, like the center of a galaxy. When black holes merge, they send out gravitational waves, which differ based on the shape of the black holes’ orbit, circular versus oval.