Press Release

Closer Look Reveals Andromeda’s Black Hole Not As “Cool” As

By SpaceRef Editor
October 12, 2001
Filed under , ,

M31 (Revised): Closer Look Reveals Andromeda’s Black Hole Not As “Cool” As

Chandra and Hubble Space Telescope images of two recently detected emitting
globular star clusters — so called because of their spherical shape — were
used as a cross-check to determine the position of X-ray sources near the
center of the Andromeda galaxy to an accuracy ten times greater than before.
The inset shows the three Chandra sources closest to the supermassive black
hole, overlaid with the intensity contours from the HST image (red). The
location of supermassive black hole is thought to be in the middle of the
peanut-shaped intensity contours, and very close to the Northern-most of
the three Chandra sources.

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 super-massive black hole. The globular clusters are outside
the field of view in this image.

Credit: X-ray: (NASA/SAO/CXC/M. Garcia et al.)

Optical: (NASA/GSFC/T.Brown et al.)

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

SpaceRef staff editor.