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For over a decade, astronomers have been using the Chandra X-ray Observatory to monitor the supermassive black hole in the center of Andromeda, the Milky Way's sister galaxy. These observations have revealed that the black hole at the center of Andromeda was very quiet until January 2006, when it underwent a big outburst in X-rays. Since then, it's quieted down again, but it remains about ten times brighter in X-rays now than before 2006. Astronomers will continue to observe this feeble but unpredictable black hole, which is the closest supermassive black hole to us outside of the Milky Way.
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(Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/Li et al.), Optical (DSS))


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