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More Images of J0045+41 in M31

Correction: A follow-up paper by Barth & Stern (2018) has shown that the evidence for periodic light variations presented in Dorn-Wallenstein et al. (2017) and publicized in this press release is not, in fact, significant. Although a supermassive black hole behind M31 has been discovered, the claim that a pair of supermassive black holes was detected can no longer be made.

Editor's Note: Honest errors such as this are part of the scientific process, especially on the frontiers of discovery. To quote Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, "If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake."


A. J. Barth & D. Stern, 2018, ApJ, 858, 10

T. Dorn-Wallenstein, E. M. Levesque & J. J. Ruan, 2017, ApJ, 850, 86

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Click for large jpg X-ray & Optical
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Click for large jpg Optical
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X-ray & Optical Images of J0045+41
Scientists have discovered that an object previously thought to be part of the nearby Andromeda galaxy is actually a thousand times farther away. In addition, this source, known as J0045+41 for short, may contain two supermassive black holes in very close orbit around one another. These images show Chandra X-ray data as well as optical data from Hubble.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Washington/T.Dorn-Wallenstein et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/J. Dalcanton, et al. & R. Gendler)

Click for large jpg Optical
Large Field
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Click for large jpg Optical
Large Field
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Large Field Optical Images
This large field optical image shows the full Hubble field used in the Chandra composite (left). Additionally, the second wider field optical image (right) shows the relation of the Hubble image of M31 (a field called the "PHAT" field, outlined) to the larger field of view of the galaxy.
(Credit: Full Hubble Field: NASA/ESA/J. Dalcanton, et al. & R. Gendler; Wide Optical Field: Robert Gendler)

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