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New Vista of Milky Way Center Unveiled: A 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of images located about 26,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. | by Smithsonian Institution
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New Vista of Milky Way Center Unveiled: A 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of images located about 26,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius.

Description: This Chandra image exposes a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. In this new and deep image from Chandra, red represents lower-energy X-rays, green shows the medium range, and blue indicates the higher-energy X-rays. Hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs. A supermassive black hole -- some four million times more massive the Sun -- resides within the bright, blue-white region on the 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.

 

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: 2009

 

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

 

Gift line: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.

 

Accession number: gcenter_435

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Taken on November 19, 2009