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Hot Gas in Galactic Center: Chandra Turns Up the Heat in the Milky Way Center (A 130 light year region of the center of the Milky Way: Located about 26,000 light years from Earth, the region contains a supermassive black hole, hot gas, and thousands of X- | by Smithsonian Institution
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Hot Gas in Galactic Center: Chandra Turns Up the Heat in the Milky Way Center (A 130 light year region of the center of the Milky Way: Located about 26,000 light years from Earth, the region contains a supermassive black hole, hot gas, and thousands of X-

Description: This X-ray image was produced by combining a dozen Chandra observations made of the central region of the Milky Way. The colors represent low (red), medium (green) and high (blue) energy X-rays. Chandra's unique resolving power has allowed astronomers to identify thousands of point-like X-ray sources due to neutron stars, black holes, white dwarfs, foreground stars, and background galaxies. What remains is a diffuse X-ray glow extending from the upper left to the lower right, along the direction of the disk of the Galaxy. The Chandra data indicate that the diffuse glow is a mixture of 10-million-degree Celsius gas and 100-million-degree gas. Shock waves from supernova explosions are the most likely explanation for heating the 10-million degree gas, but how the 100-million-degree gas is heated is a mystery.

 

Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory

 

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray

 

Date: 2004

 

Persistent URL: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2004/sgra/

 

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

 

Collection: Milky Way Collection

 

Gift line: NASA/CXC/UCLA/MIT/M.Muno et al.

 

Accession number: Sgra_xray

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Taken on September 30, 2008