• The finding suggests that quasars—the brilliant cores of active galaxies—may commonly host two central supermassive black holes that fall into orbit about one another as a result of the merger between two galaxies.
  • Like a pair of whirling skaters, the black-hole duo generates tremendous amounts of energy that makes the core of the host galaxy outshine the glow of the galaxy's population of billions of stars, which scientists then identify as quasars. 
  • "We are extremely excited about this finding because it not only shows the existence of a close binary black hole in Mrk 231, but also paves a new way to systematically search binary black holes via the nature of their ultraviolet light emission," said Youjun Lu of the National Astronomical Observatories of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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