So close, yet so far.
Neighboring galaxy NGC 7727 has a pair of black holes at its center, leading researchers to believe it’s the byproduct of galaxies that merged a billion years ago.
It’s the closest black hole pair to Earth ever spotted, at 89 million light years away.
To find the black holes, they watched as strong forces pushed and pulled on stars in the NGC 7727 galaxy.
That helped them pinpoint where the black holes were hiding.
The black holes are just 1,600 light years away from each other.
For comparison, Earth is 89 million light years from NGC 7727.
“It is the first time we find two supermassive black holes that are this close to each other, less than half the separation of the previous record holder.”