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For release: 05-27-03
Photo release #: 03-080

Major survey suggests finding intermediate-mass black holes will be a challenge

Photo description: Chandra image of the galaxies NGC 4485 and NGC 4490Medium 500 x 500 (72)
Thumbnail 100 x 100 (72)

Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the galaxies NGC 4485 and NGC 4490

NGC 4485 and NGC 4490 are two of the 90 galaxies surveyed in a study of the ultra-luminous X-ray source (ULX) population of nearby galaxies. This image, taken with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer onboard NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, shows numerous bright X-ray sources within clouds of cooler gas. Five of these point-like sources are potential ULXs --- candidates for intermediate-mass black holes. Blue colors in this image represent hotter, high-energy, emission while red colors denote cooler, low-energy, X-rays.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program. (NASA/MSFC)

Steve Roy
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