First X-ray Data of the Mergers with Chandra
I just got notice from the people at the Chandra Science Center that Chandra has executed the observation of the first Galaxy Zoo merger – part of our study to understand black holes in mergers. This is the first of twelve such observations that should take place over the next year or so. The main science question we have that this program will help us answer is: in how many mergers do both black holes feed?
All I have at the moment are the quick-look data that that they sent me. They are more or less raw images. Here is the full frame:
And here is a zoom-in:
This is raw data, rather than properly analyzed data, so we can’t really draw any firm conclusions based on it yet, but it seems like there is no significant source detected. What does that mean? Assuming that there really is no source after we properly analyze the data, then the black hole(s) in this particular merger are either not feeding very much, or they are hidden behind lots of gas and dust.
For now, we will wait for the actual data to fully analyze it, and for the remaining 11 targets to be observed.