Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Galaxy ESO 243-49 and Black Hole HLX-1

Galaxy ESO 243-49 and Black Hole HLX-1
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This spectacular edge-on galaxy, called ESO 243-49, is home to an intermediate-mass black hole known as HLX-1 that may have been purloined from a cannibalised dwarf galaxy. The black hole, with an estimated mass of 50 million Suns, lies above the galactic plane. This is an unlikely place for such a massive back hole to exist, unless it belonged to a small galaxy that was gravitationally torn apart by ESO 243-49.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and S. Farrell (University of Sydney, Australia and University of Leicester, UK)

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