Close-up view of the nearest pair of supermassive black holes

Close-up view of the two bright galactic nuclei, each housing a supermassive black hole, in NGC 7727, a galaxy located 89 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Aquarius. Each nucleus consists of a dense group of stars with a supermassive black hole at its centre. The two black holes are on a collision course and form the closest pair of supermassive black holes found to date. It is also the pair with the smallest separation between two supermassive black holes — observed just 1600 light-years apart in the sky.  

The image was taken with the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Credit:

ESO/Voggel et al.

About the Image

Id:eso2117b
Type:Observation
Release date:30 November 2021, 14:00
Related releases:eso2117
Size:929 x 924 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 7727
Type:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Black Hole
Distance:90 million light years
Constellation:Aquarius
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

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Coordinates

Position (RA):23 39 53.76
Position (Dec):-12° 17' 32.53"
Field of view:0.14 x 0.13 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 2.5° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
g
480 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
r
625 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
i
770 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE