Chandra X-ray Image of NGC 3344

©NASA

NGC 3344

This galaxy is part of a large survey of more than 100 galaxies conducted by Chandra that looked for evidence of growing black holes.

A new study uncovered evidence that stellar-mass black holes in these dense environments are ripping apart multiple stars, and then using their debris to fuel their growth. The Chandra results provide one pathway for the creation of "intermediate mass black holes," a class that are bigger than the stellar-mass variety but smaller than supermassive black holes. Chandra data is shown with optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Washington State Univ./V. Baldassare et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI Larger image

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