Shocking discovery in astronomy: 3 supermassive black holes in the same galaxy

The 'honorable' galaxy holding this record is NGC 6240, which is about 400 million light-years away, which has been closely watched by astronomers for many years.

At the center of every galaxy lies a terrifying monster: The supermassive black hole can be hundreds or even billions of times the mass of our sun. This is a space-time field with a gravitational field so strong that no radiation and light can escape.

It can be said that black holes are an indispensable component in a galaxy, but a galaxy that owns up to 3 black holes at the same time is indeed an unprecedented phenomenon. Dr. Peter Weilbacher, one of the leading researchers of the Leibniz Potsdam Institute for Astrophysics, emphasized the importance of this discovery: 'Until now, the concentration of three supermassive black holes in one The galaxy is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of space science, promising to bring us countless new and extremely valuable knowledge. '

The 'honorable' galaxy holding this record is NGC 6240, which is about 400 million light-years away, which has been closely watched by astronomers for many years. There have been hundreds of photos of this galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. However, the Multi-Unit Spectral Exploration Device (MUSE) on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a key factor in detecting anomalies of NGC 6240. This tool allows researchers to The study collects a three-dimensional data set with each pixel representing a full light spectrum.

Shocking discovery in astronomy: 3 supermassive black holes in the same galaxy Picture 1

NGC 6240 contains three huge black holes in the core. In particular, the northern black hole (N) has been active and known for a long time, however, the high-resolution spatial image enlarged shows that the southern component includes two other black holes with super dimensions. large (S1 and S2). The green part indicates the distribution of the gas fragments ionized by the radiation around the black hole, while the red lines show the rim of light from the galaxy and the length of the white bar corresponds to 1,000 light year. One of these 3 black holes has an estimated mass of more than 90 million times the sun.

More significantly, these black holes are very close together. According to calculations by the scientists, they are located in an area of ​​space less than 3,000 light-years, which is less than 1% of the total size of galaxy NGC 6240.

This discovery gives astronomers new insights into how galaxies evolve over time, especially the process of forming large galaxies from the merging of several galaxies. children.

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