Spiral Galaxy NGC 3627

July 15, 2013
Credits: NASA/CXC/Ohio State Univ./C.Grier et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI, ESO/WFI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) —The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image includes X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (red), and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope (yellow). The inset shows the central region, which contains a bright X-ray source that is likely powered by material falling onto a supermassive black hole.

A search using archival data from previous Chandra observations of a sample of 62 nearby galaxies has shown that 37 of the galaxies, including NGC 3627, contain X-ray sources in their centers. Most of these sources are likely powered by central supermassive black holes. The survey, which also used data from the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey, found that seven of the 37 sources are new candidates.

Confirming previous Chandra results, this study finds the fraction of galaxies found to be hosting supermassive black holes is much higher than found with optical searches. This shows the ability of X-ray observations to find black holes in galaxies where relatively low-level black hole activity has either been hidden by obscuring material or washed out by the bright optical light of the galaxy.

Explore further: Galaxy Collision Switches on Black Hole

Related Stories

Galaxy Collision Switches on Black Hole

December 10, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- This composite image of data from three different telescopes shows an ongoing collision between two galaxies, NGC 6872 and IC 4970.

Revealing a mini-supermassive black hole

October 24, 2012

One of the lowest mass supermassive black holes ever observed in the middle of a galaxy has been identified, thanks to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other observatories. The host galaxy is of a type not expected ...

Hidden black hole: Spiral galaxy NGC 3627

December 14, 2012

(Phys.org)—The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image includes X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope ...

4C+29.30: Black hole powered jets plow into galaxy

May 15, 2013

(Phys.org) —This composite image of a galaxy illustrates how the intense gravity of a supermassive black hole can be tapped to generate immense power. The image contains X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory ...

Black hole naps amidst stellar chaos

June 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —Nearly a decade ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory caught signs of what appeared to be a black hole snacking on gas at the middle of the nearby Sculptor galaxy. Now, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ...

Recommended for you

Will SETI's unprecedented new program finally find E.T.?

August 4, 2015

Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake and dozens of journalists gathered at the Royal Society in London last week to hear astronomers announce a ground-breaking new project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life called "Breakthrough ...

Tracking a mysterious group of asteroid outcasts

August 4, 2015

High above the plane of our solar system, near the asteroid-rich abyss between Mars and Jupiter, scientists have found a unique family of space rocks. These interplanetary oddballs are the Euphrosyne (pronounced you-FROH-seh-nee) ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (9) Jul 15, 2013
A search using archival data from previous Chandra observations of a sample of 62 nearby galaxies has shown that 37 of the galaxies, including NGC 3627, contain X-ray sources in their centers. Most of these sources are likely powered by central supermassive black holes.

Being that galaxies are largely plasma, and plasma is a prodigious producer of synchrotron radiation (including x-rays and gamma for that matter) and taken with what we know about lab plasmas the simplest explanation on the x-rays would be that they are observing are produced by DL's (double layers). Such a notion would not require the mythical black hole beast.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.