NGC 3393

CXC Logo
Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
NGC 3393: A spiral galaxy with two supermassive black holes located about 160 milion light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/G.Fabbiano et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)

Caption: Evidence for a pair of supermassive black holes in a spiral galaxy has been found in data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This main image is a composite of X-rays from Chandra (blue) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (orange and yellow) of the spiral galaxy NGC 3393. Meanwhile, the inset box shows the central region of NGC 3993 as observed just by Chandra. Two separate peaks of X-ray emission (roughly at 11 o'clock and 4 o'clock) can clearly be seen in the inset box. These two sources are black holes that are actively growing, generating X-ray emission as gas falls towards the black holes and becomes hotter.

Scale: Image is 12.5 arcsec across (about 9,800 light years) | Inset image is 1.6 arcsec across (1260 light years)

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory