CID 1711 and CID 3083 in 60 Seconds
Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): Astronomers have recently completed a large survey of the sky using some of the powerful telescopes both on the ground and in space. This survey, known as the Cosmic Evolution Survey, or COSMOS, has revealed many results. The latest comes from a study of galaxies, both in pairs and others on their own. Researchers wanted to test whether or not close encounters between two galaxies trigger activity in the supermassive black holes at their centers. The two galaxies seen here are just samples from the thousands of galaxies they studied. The Chandra data were key because the X-rays can pinpoint just how active these black holes are. It turns out that the black holes within these galaxies are, in fact, growing more rapidly if they are in the early stages of an encounter with another galaxy. Maybe galaxies and their black holes are social after all.