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Bright green sources of high-energy X-ray light captured by NASA's NuSTAR mission are overlaid on an optical-light image of the Whirlpool galaxy (in the center of the image) and its companion galaxy, M51b (the bright greenish-white spot above the Whirlpool), taken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, IPAC

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion universe, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour encompassing material. These two beasts ought...