M31: XMM and Chandra investigate central region

[Chandra X-ray Image of Andromeda Galaxy (M31)]

Central part of M31 in X-rays

[Combined X-ray and optical image of M31]

M31 central part, combined X-ray and optical image

Credit: NASA/CXC/MPE/W.Pietsch et.al.

In X-rays, hot gas is seen to envelop the central part of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31. The prominent point sources mostly belong to interacting double stars, many of them containing a White Dwarf companion pulling away matter from its partner star. When the matter gets compressed and heated, a thermonuclear explosion occurs near the White Dwarfs surface; this explosion is bright in X-rays and makes the star flash up as a nova.

Chandra Press Release (May 22, 2007):

ESA XMM Newton Press Release (May 9, 2007):


SEDS M31 page:


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