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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 16:36 EDT

Chandra Finds “Nearby” Black Holes

September 6, 2011

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered the first pair of supermassive black holes in a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way. Approximately 160 million light years from Earth, the pair is the nearest known such phenomenon. The black holes are located near the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 3393. Separated by only 490 light years, the black holes are likely the remnant of a merger of two galaxies of unequal mass a billion or more years ago.  credit:  NASA