Galactic Center

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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Central Region of the Milky Way Galaxy: A 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of images located about 26,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius.
(Credit: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al.)

Caption: This spectacular mosaic of Chandra images reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion degree gas. A supermassive black hole residing at the center of our Galaxy is located inside the bright white patch near the middle of the mosaic. The colors indicate X-ray energy bands - red (low), green (medium), and blue (high). The mosaic gives a new perspective on how turbulent the Galactic Center is, and how the region affects the evolution of our Galaxy as a whole.

Scale: Image is 120 by 48 arcmin.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory