Thursday, December 5, 2013

WISE J233237.05-505643.5, Merging Black Holes

Two black holes are entwined in a gravitational tango in this artist's conception. Supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies are thought to form through the merging of smaller, yet still massive black holes, such as the ones depicted here.

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, helped lead astronomers to what appears to be a new example of a dancing black hole duo. Called WISE J233237.05-505643.5, the suspected black hole merger is located about 3.8 billion light-years from Earth, much farther than other black hole binary candidates of a similar nature.

Illustration credit: NASA

Note: For more information, see Massive Black Hole Duo: Possible Sighting by NASA's WISE.

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