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Recoiling supermassive black hole, illustration

Recoiling supermassive black hole, illustration

C038/9803

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Credit

NASA / CXC / M.WEISS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / CXC / M.WEISS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Recoiling supermassive black hole, illustration. Supermassive black hole (upper right) that is in motion (recoiling) away from the galaxy in which it formed. This example is named CXO J101527.2+625911, and is about 3.9 billion light years distant, in the constellation of Ursa Major. It is thought to contain about 160 million solar masses, and have formed and been set in motion by the collision of two smaller black holes. The merger would have generated an imbalance of gravitational waves that would cause the observed motion. This supermassive black hole was observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes in 2008. This image was published in 2017.

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