Chandra X-ray image of the Center of M31
Credit: NASA/UMass/Z.Li & Q.D.Wang

Heart of Andromeda

Andromeda is a large spiral galaxy, a neighbor to our Milky Way. Andromeda, in Greek mythology, was the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. She was chained to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice to the monster Cetus. But what lies in her heart? A new observation by the Chandra X-ray Observatory helps answer this question. The image above shows an X-ray image of the center of Andromeda, and shows the remnants of s history of stellar explosions. The points of lights are X-ray binaries, the remnants of dead stars. The diffuse emission shown above also represents the accumulated hot gas produced by supernova explosions. Evidently the heart of Andromeda is a heart in turmoil.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:29 EDT