Earth: In the galaxy NGC7727, in the constellation Aquarius, is located a pair of supermassive black holes on a collision course.
The discovery was made at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. These objects are 89 million light years from Earth and are the closest found to date.
The researchers who made the discovery worked with the MUSE (Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer), an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory, Chile.
They also used additional data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the identity of the black holes. The discovery was published this Tuesday (30) in the international scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The distance between celestial bodies surprised researchers. Only 1,600 light years separate them.
“This is the first time we’ve found two supermassive black holes so close together,” says Karina Voggel, an astronomer at the Strasbourg Observatory, France, in a statement released by ESO.