A team of astronomers has just discovered the first pair of supermassive black holes in the center of an ordinary galaxy, known as J120136.
Here, "ordinary" means quiescent (quiet), as opposed to an active galaxy in which gas clouds fall into the central black hole, causing it to radiate (making detection easier).
This detection suggests J120136 has merged with another galaxy in its past. Galaxy mergers are an important part of how galaxies form and evolve, so detections such as this are exciting as they give us information about how galaxies such as our very own Milky Way have come to be.
As for this pair's inevitable ending: they will slow down and coalesce into a single object.
Astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory have discovered, for the first time, a pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another in an ordinary galaxy.