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SPACE: Colliding Galaxies Create Ring of Black Holes

Giant Ring of Black Holes

A giant ring of black holes has been discovered 300 million light-years away, offering new clues about what happens when galaxies collide. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers detected a very bright source of X-rays that is likely fueled by either a ring of stellar-mass black holes or neutron stars — the small, dense corpses left after stellar explosions, — according to a new study. The bright X-ray source emanates from the ring galaxy AM 0644-741 (abbreviated AM 0644), which lies approximately 300 million light-years from Earth. By combining data from Chandra and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers created a … Read more

SPACE: It’s an Epic Clash of Galaxies

Andromeda Milky Way - pixabay

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course with its neighbor Andromeda. Although the collision will take place about 4 billion years from now, astronomers have long placed bets on which of the two star systems is more likely to survive the mega crash. Until recently, Andromeda, currently roughly 2.5 million light-years away from the Milky Way, was the clear favorite. But a new study suggests the outcome of the cosmic smashup might be closer to a tie. In a paper published online Jan. 10 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, a team of … Read more