Scientists have obtained an image of three merging galaxies with two potentially active black holes. The results are published by the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
A team of scientists led by Jonathan Williams from the University of Maryland has discovered a cluster of three galaxies merging with active supermassive black holes. This unique event will help astronomers study the systemic dynamics of the two most extreme objects in the universe with each other.
The scientists used data from 27 radio telescopes in the state of New Mexico (USA) VLA, the European Southern Observatory, the WM Keck Observatory and Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the ALMA radio telescope (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array).
The unique system was found in a bright area of the sky at a distance of about 800 million light years from Earth.
All three galaxies in it are different from each other. One of them is the known Seyfert galaxy. Let us recall that this is a spiral or irregular galaxy with an active nucleus, the emission spectrum of which contains many bright broad stripes, which indicates powerful gas ejections with speeds of up to several thousand kilometers per second.
The second galaxy, according to the assumptions of some scientists, also contains supermassive black holes at its center. The third – a dwarf cluster of stars without an active supermassive black hole – leaves a trail of dust behind it and moves perpendicular to the Earth.
It was this unique combination of galaxies that allowed scientists to obtain data on the physical characteristics of the merger that would otherwise be undetectable.