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More Information
Milky Way Galaxy
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Milky Way Galaxy
Questions and Answers
Milky Way Galaxy
Chandra Images
Milky Way Galaxy
Animations & Video: The Milky Way
Page 123
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of Multiwavelength Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG This never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way combines a near-infrared view from Hubble, an infrared image from Spitzer, and X-ray data from Chandra. The composite image features the spectacle of galactic evolution: from vibrant regions of star birth to young and old stellar populations and even to the eerie remains of stellar death called black holes. All of this occurs against a fiery backdrop in the crowded, hostile environment of the galaxy's core, the center of which is ruled by a supermassive black hole. A diffuse haze of X-ray light from hot gas permeates the entire field. This gas has been heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole as well as by winds from massive stars and stellar explosions.
[Runtime: 0.53]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D.Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S.Stolovy)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG This image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. 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 Chandra can detect. The hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes and other dense stellar objects like neutron stars. A supermassive black hole -- some four million times more massive than the Sun -- resides within the bright region to the right of center. 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.
[Runtime: 0.50]
(Credit: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of Galactic Ridge
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope of the central region of the Milky Way. We then zoom into a region about 1.4 degrees away from the center of the galaxy where the Chandra X-ray Observatory focused its attention for about twelve days' worth of time. This region is known as the Galactic Ridge, because earlier X-ray observatories found a structure of diffuse emission stretching across the plane of the galaxy. The new long Chandra observation shows that this X-ray haze is actually composed of thousands of individual sources, like stars and binary systems.
[Runtime: 0.37]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/TUM/M.Revnivtsev et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE Team))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Into the Milky Way: Quintuplet Cluster
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with Chandra's X-ray view of a 900 by 400 light year swath of the center of the Milky Way. It then zooms into a smaller region where large filamentary structures are seen in radio waves. The view moves in even closer to show the Quintuplet star cluster. Named for its five brightest stars at infrared wavelengths, the Quintuplet is known to be home to hundreds of stars. Several of these are very massive stars that are rapidly losing gas from their surfaces in high-speed stellar winds. Collisions from these winds are what astronomers believe to be the source for the point-like concentrations seen in the Chandra image.
[Runtime: 0:24]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/NWU/C.Law & F.Zadeh; IR: NASA/ESO/STScI/D.Figer et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/F.Zadeh et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Towards the Milky Way: DB00-6
QuicktimeMPEG his series of images shows the DB00-58 star cluster in context with Chandra's 900- by 400-light year mosaic of the Galactic Center. The view then transitions to radio emission from a smaller region that includes DB00-6, before showing infrared data, and ending with Chandra's X-ray close-up. . Despite DB00-6's similar appearance to DB01-42 (#1, above), the X-ray and infrared information show that DB00-6 is, in fact, a foreground object, and is significantly closer to us than 25,000 light years.
[Runtime: 0:24]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Northwestern U./C.Law & F.Yusef-Zadeh; Infrared: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/F.Zadeh et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Towards the Milky Way: DB00-58
QuicktimeMPEG This series of images shows the DB00-58 star cluster in context with Chandra's 900- by 400-light year mosaic of the Galactic Center. The view then transitions to infrared emission from a smaller region that includes DB00-58, before showing Chandra's X-ray close-up. Despite DB00-58's similar appearance to DB01-42 (#1, above), the X-ray and infrared information show that DB00-58 is, in fact, a foreground object, and is significantly closer to us than 26,000 light years.
[Runtime: 0:20]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Northwestern U./C.Law & F.Yusef-Zadeh; Infrared: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. DB01-42 in context of the Milky Way Center
QuicktimeMPEG This series of images puts the cluster known as DB01-42 in context with Chandra's 900- by 400-light year mosaic of the Galactic Center. The view then transitions to radio emission from a smaller region that includes DB01-42, before showing infrared data of the same area, and ending with Chandra's X-ray close-up. Chandra's X-ray data have helped astronomers identify DB01-42 as a member of the Galactic Center. It is about 26,000 light years away from Earth.
[Runtime: 0:10]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Northwestern U./C.Law & F.Yusef-Zadeh; Infrared: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/F.Zadeh et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Virtual Voyage through the Milky Way: Whole Journey
QuicktimeMPEG Broadcast:
  • QuickTime movie (uncompressed)
  • D1 (0.9 pixel aspect ratio)
  • 720x486
  • 29.97 fps
  • file size = (747.6 MB)
Download Broadcast

Zoom out past Earth, Venus, Mercury & the Sun. Go beyond the solar system, and out of the Milky Way to our Local Group. Then, zoom back in from the Local Group to the Galactic Center & view the Chandra mosaic of the central region of our Galaxy.
[Runtime: 1:12]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Virtual Voyage through the Milky Way: Local Group to Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Zoom in from the Local Group to the Galactic Center & view the Chandra mosaic of the central region of our Galaxy.
[Runtime: 0:16]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Virtual Voyage through the Milky Way: Earth to Local Group
QuicktimeMPEG Zoom out past Earth, Venus, Mercury & the Sun. Go beyond the solar system, and out of the Milky Way to our Local Group.
[Runtime: 0:56]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Page 123