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Black Holes

Scientists already know that most galaxies have massive black holes at their centers. Some scientists also believe that, given the age of the Universe, most of the large galaxies we see today are the result of a two- (or more) galaxy collision. Given this information, it is very probable that the two black holes from the previously separate galaxies would be in a binary orbit around each other at the center of the new, larger galaxy. The movements of these extremely large masses will help astronomers to map out the curvature of spacetime in those areas. That means we can see the 'dents' and 'dips' in spacetime caused by two black holes. We will also learn about the shape and behavior of the event horizon of a black hole, and how black holes affect galactic evolution.

Publication Date: August, 2003

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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