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This collision could provide scientists with important information about the evolution of black holes in the early universe, NASA stressed.
By definition, dwarf galaxies contain stars with a total mass about 3 billion times less than that of the sun. Astronomers have long hypothesized that dwarf galaxies merged relatively early, especially in the early universe, to develop into the larger galaxies seen today. However, current technology cannot observe the initial dwarf galaxy mergers because the images from a distance are very faint.
The new study took a different approach, performing a systematic survey of Chandra X-ray deep observations and comparing it with data from NASA’s Wide Range Infrared Survey Probe Satellite and Optical data from the Canada – France – Hawaii Telescope.
American astronomers searched for pairs of bright X-ray sources in colliding dwarf galaxies for evidence of two black holes and discovered two examples, one in the galaxy cluster Abell 133 located far from Earth. Earth is 760 million light-years away, and one is in the galaxy cluster Abell 1758S, about 3.2 billion light-years away.
According to NASA, both pairs show structures that are characteristic of galactic collisions, which are expected to help broaden our understanding of black hole growth.
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