Monday, February 9, 2015


Markarian 177 is a dwarf galaxy located more than 90 million light-years away, in the bowl of the Big Dipper, within the constellation Ursa Major. It’s a galaxy that seems to show possible signs of a recent galactic collision. Near the galaxy, at over 2,600 light-years from it, a strange X-ray source known as SDSS1133. The source may be a supermassive black hole ejected from its home galaxy after merging with Markarian 177. If the object isn't a black hole, then it might have been a rare type of star known as a Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) that has recently undergone a supernova.


Markarian 177 & SDSS1133 comparison with a simulated galaxy collision. When the central black holes in these galaxies combine, a "kick" launches the merged black hole on a wide orbit taking it far from the galaxy's core.
Credit: NASA G
oddard's Scientific Visualization Studio

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