Posted on Friday, April 25, 2014
By Kadri
Scientists have discovered a system of two supermassive black holes in orbit around a common center of mass.

The discovery was made using ESA's XMM-Newton, a space telescope that  observes the universe in X-rays.

The black holes were discovered when they were ripping apart a star and XMM-Newton was aimed in that general direction.

Artist's impression of two black holes. Credit: ESA/C. Carreau

Having more than one supermassive black hole in the center of a large galaxy isn't too unusual, but this far they've all been found in active galaxies, which have a lot of gas in the middle that will be heated in it's death throes and will shine brightly in x-rays, giving scientists a chance of determining whether there's one or two black holes.

A galaxy can host two supermassive black holes when in it's history it has collided with another huge galaxy and they've combined another galaxy.

However this pair of black holes was discovered in a galaxy that isn't active.

Discoveries of binary supermassive black holes help in understanding the evolution of galaxies.

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