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Tight Arms Linked to Bigger Black Holes in Galaxies

from National Geographic News

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed an important relationship between supermassive black holes and spiral galaxies: The more massive the black hole, the tighter the host galaxy's arms.

"This means that to determine the mass of a supermassive black hole, you only need an image of a galaxy," said Marc Seigar of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Within the past decade astronomers have determined that almost every galaxy has a black hole lurking at its center that can range from ten thousand times to a billion times the mass of the sun.

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