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NGC 6240 colliding galaxies, composite

NGC 6240 colliding galaxies, composite

C010/5561

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Credit

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