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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
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M31: The central region of our nearest neighbor spiral galaxy, at a distance of two million light years.
(Credit: X-ray: (NASA/SAO/CXC/M.Garcia et al.) Optical: (NASA/GSFC/T.Brown et al.))

Caption: This image of the central region of the Andromeda Galaxy is a composite of Chandra X-ray data (3 pixilated sources) and Hubble optical data (red contours). A supermassive black hole is thought to be within the highest optical contour on the lower right. These highly accurate positions show that the very cool X-ray source (blue) previously identified with the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy is actually about 10 light years south of the center. A second, hotter X-ray source, is found to be at a position consistent with the position of the supermassive black hole.

Scale: X-ray Image is 1 arcmin on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory