Revised: July 25, 2008

from Chandra Website

 


Credit: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al.


This 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of several Chandra images of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas.

 

The super-massive black hole at the center of the Galaxy is located inside the bright white patch in the center of the image. The colors indicate X-ray energy bands - red (low), green (medium), and blue (high).

The mosaic gives a new perspective on how the turbulent Galactic Center region affects the evolution of the Galaxy as a whole. This hot gas appears to be escaping from the center into the rest of the Galaxy. The outflow of gas, chemically enriched from the frequent destruction of stars, will distribute these elements into the galactic suburbs.

 

Because it is only about 26,000 light years from Earth, the center of our Galaxy provides an excellent laboratory to learn about the cores of other galaxies.

 

Fast Facts for Galactic Center Survey

Credit 

NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al.

Scale 

Image is 120 by 48 arcmin

Category 

Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies, Milky Way Galaxy

Coordinates (J2000) 

RA 17h 45m 23s | Dec -29 01' 17.00

Constellation 

Sagittarius

Observation Dates 

July 2001 (30 separate pointings)

Observation Time 

94 hours total

Obs. IDs 

2267 through 2296

Color Code 

Energy

Instrument 

ACIS

Distance Estimate 

About 26,000 light years

Release Date 

January 09, 2002