Galactic Center

CXC Logo
Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Galactic Center: The innermost 10 light years at the center of our galaxy.
(Credit: NASA/MIT/PSU)

Caption: The image has been smoothed to bring out the X-ray emission from an extended cloud of hot gas surrounding the supermassive black-hole candidate Sagittarius A* (larger white dot at the very center of the image- a little to the left and above the smallest white dot). This gas glows in X-ray light because it has been heated to a temperature of millions of degrees by shock waves produced by supernova explosions and perhaps by colliding winds from young massive stars.

Scale: Image is 1.3 arcmin on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory