NGC 6240 colliding galaxies, composite

NGC 6240 colliding galaxies, composite

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Credit: NASA/CXC/MIT, C. CANIZARES AND M. NOWAK/STSCI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: NGC 6240 colliding galaxies, composite image. This image combines X-ray data (orange core) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical data (rest of image) from the Hubble Space Telescope. These merging galaxies each contain a supermassive black holes (white dots at centre). These black holes are only 3000 light years apart and are spiralling toward each other in a process that began about 30 million years ago and will end with them merging millions of years in the future. These merging galaxies are around 330 million light years from Earth, in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Image published in 2009.

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Keywords: 2009, 21st century, acis, advanced ccd imaging spectrometer, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, black hole, black holes, chandra x-ray observatory, colliding galaxy, composite, cxo, galactic, galaxies, galaxy, hst, hubble space telescope, ic 4625, interacting, irregular, merging, ngc 6240, ophiuchus, optical, pair, peculiar, space, space telescopes, supermassive black hole, two, ulirg, universe, visible, x-ray, xray

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