Home LATEST NEWS The closest pair of supermassive black holes to Earth seen to date

The closest pair of supermassive black holes to Earth seen to date

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The pair of black holes are found approximately 89 million light-years from Earth in the galaxy NGC 7727, located in the constellation Aquarius.millions of light years away, which makes this new pair of supermassive black holes the closest to us to date “,” text “:” Although this distance may seem far away, it is less than the previous record of 470million light-years away, which makes this new pair of supermassive black holes the closest to us to date “}}”>While this distance may seem immense, it is less than the previous record of 470 million light years, making this new pair of supermassive black holes the closest to us to date., specifies ESO in a press release.

The galaxy NGC 7727.

Located 89 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, NGC 7727 is believed to be the result of a collision between two galaxies that occurred about a billion years ago.

Photo: ESO / VST ATLAS

The largest black hole, located at the heart of NGC 7727, has a mass nearly 154 million times that of the Sun, while its companion has a mass of 6.3 million solar masses.

In addition, the two celestial objects are much less distant from each other than any other pair of supermassive black holes spotted previously.

The pair of NGC 7727 broke the record for the shortest distance between two supermassive black holes, as they are observed only 1600 light years apart in the sky. , notes ESO.

This is the first time that we have found two supermassive black holes so close to each other, less than half the distance between the previous record holder., believes Karina Voggel, astronomer at the Strasbourg Observatory and lead author of the study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (New window) (in English).

According to astronomers, the two holes will eventually merge into a single cosmic giant. The weak separation and speed of the two black holes indicate that they will merge into a single colossal black hole, possibly within 250 million years., says Professor Holger Baumgardt, from the University of Queensland, Australia.

  The galaxy NGC 7727.View larger image (New window)

This image shows close-up (left) and wide-field (right) views of the two galactic nuclei of NGC 7727, each harboring a supermassive black hole.

Photo: ESO / Voggel et al.

A black hole is a celestial object that has extremely large mass in a very small volume. As if the Sun was only a few kilometers in diameter or the Earth was squeezed into the head of a pin. The intensity of its gravitational field prevents any form of matter or radiation from escaping.

Supermassive black holes lurk in the center of massive galaxies. Their mass varies between a million and billions of times that of the Sun.

Astronomers believed the galaxy NGC 7727 was home to two black holes, but they had not been able to confirm this.% the total number of known supermassive black holes in the local Universe “,” text “:” Our discovery implies that there could be many more of these remnants of galaxy mergers and that they could contain many massive black holes hidden still waiting to be discovered. This could increase the total number of known supermassive black holes in the local Universe by 30% “}}”>Our discovery implies that there may be many more of these remnants of galaxy mergers, and that they may contain many hidden massive black holes still waiting to be discovered. This could increase the total number of known supermassive black holes in the local universe by 30%, concludes Karina Voggel.

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