Two composite images presented side by side, separated by a thin white line. The image on our left features two colliding dwarf galaxies in the late stages of merging into one larger galaxy. The image on our right features two colliding dwarf galaxies in the early stages of merging. In the first pair of dwarf galaxies, on our left, a pale pink shape sits inside a hazy indigo blue cloud. The cloud contains neon pink streaks, and faint white specks. This cloud represents gas and stars in the merging galaxies. The pale pink shape at its core represents a black hole being tracked by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Directly above the cloud is a neon pink and indigo circle, representing another black hole, followed by a curving tail of hazy indigo circles flecked with white. This tail, which curves up and to our right, is caused by tidal effects from the ongoing collision. Because these two dwarf galaxies are in the final stages of merging, scientists have given the combined galaxy a single name: Mirabilis. In the second pair of dwarf galaxies, on our right, a neon pink cloud with a bright white circle at its core, sits above a larger companion with the same color configuration. These pink clouds are the dwarf galaxies known as Vinteuil and Elstir. The white cores represent black holes tracked by Chandra. Elstir, the larger neon pink cloud, near the bottom, features wispy tendrils. Several of these tendrils appear to reach up toward the smaller galaxy, Vinteuil, creating a bridge of gas and stars.

NASA’s Chandra Discovers Giant Black Holes on Collision Course

A new study using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has tracked two pairs of supermassive black holes in dwarf galaxies on collision courses, as discussed in the latest press release. This is the first...

Free Email Updates
We respect your privacy.