Two supermassive black holes discovered relatively close to Earth

Using the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), astronomers have discovered a pair of supermassive black holes 89 million light-years from Earth, which are the closest to our planet ever observed.
The two supermassive black holes are so close to each other that they will end up merging into a gigantic black hole within 250 million years, the researchers note in a statement. The Earth will be very different when that happens: within 250 million years, surely the continents of the planet will have merged again in the so-called Pangea Ultima.
The pair of supermassive black holes has been located in the galaxy NGC 7727, in the constellation of Aquarius. The previous proximity record was in the galaxy NGC 6240, located 470 million light years from Earth: although it has two supermassive black holes inside, the distance at which it is has not allowed its properties to be properly measured.
Hidden in galaxies Supermassive black holes hide in the center of massive galaxies, and when two of those galaxies merge, the black holes end up on a collision course.
The NGC 7727 pair breaks the record for the smallest separation between two supermassive black holes, as they are only 1,600 light-years apart.
The merger of black holes like these could explain the process of formation of the most massive black holes in the universe, the researchers explain.
The astronomers were able to determine the masses of the two objects by observing how the gravitational pull of black holes influences the motion of the stars around them.
The astronomical community suspected that the galaxy was home to two black holes, but they had not been able to confirm their presence until now, since large amounts of high-energy radiation are not appreciated from their immediate surroundings, which would give them away.
The total number of known supermassive black holes in the local universe could increase by 30 percent.
The search for similarly hidden supermassive black hole pairs is expected to take a big leap forward with ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will begin operating later this decade in Chile’s Atacama Desert