A photo of the Andromeda Galaxy just offered some startling discoveries.
With the help of imagery from the Chandra X-ray Observatory in addition to ground-based optical telescopes, astronomers were able to notice a supermassive black hole pairing, which was initially thought to be inside Andromeda itself.
As it turns out, it’s 1,000 times farther away, or about 2.6 billion light-years from Earth, according to the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Called the J0045+41, scientists have, for a long time, believed it was merely a pair of stars inside Andromeda.
Andromeda Photo Reveals Supermassive Photobombing Black Holes
Trevor Dorn-Wallenstein, the lead researcher and a graduate University of Washington, said he and his team were trying to look for a special star in Andromeda. They thought they had found one. The said cosmic object was classified as a star pairing, which orbited each other once every 76 days. However, conflicting data showed its X-ray signal was far too intense to fit such a classification.
Ultimately, additional data from Hawaii’s Gemini-North telescope suggested J0045+41 had to have at least one supermassive black hole. Shortly thereafter, astronomers were able to calculate its distance relative to Earth. It was eventually classified as a pair of supermassive black holes locked in a tight binary orbit.