May 10, 2016

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy in X-rays

Center of the Milky Way Galaxy in X-rays

X-rays detected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory expose a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features. In this image, pink represents lower energy X-rays and blue indicates higher energy. Hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes and other dense stellar objects. A supermassive black hole - some four million times more massive than the Sun - resides within the bright region in the lower right. The diffuse X-ray light comes from gas heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole, winds from giant stars, and stellar explosions. This central region is the most energetic place in our galaxy.

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