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- Sep 22, 2018
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They're at the core of a triple galaxy merger 1 billion light-years from Earth.
A rare trio of supermassive black holes has been caught in the act of coming together.
Three of the light-gobbling monsters nuzzle shoulder to shoulder in SDSS J084905.51+111447.2, a system of three merging galaxies about 1 billion light-years from Earth, a new study reports.
"We were only looking for pairs of black holes at the time, and yet, through our selection technique, we stumbled upon this amazing system," lead author Ryan Pfeifle, of George Mason University in Virginia, said in a statement. "This is the strongest evidence yet found for such a triple system of actively feeding supermassive black holes."
SDSS J084905.51+111447.2, or SDSS J0849+1114 for short, as another publication notes. They really got to work on naming.