Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Sky Map
3D Wall
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
High Res Prints
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
Getting Hard Copies
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Sagittarius A* Animations
Click for low-resolution animation
Sagittarius A* Time-Lapse
Quicktime MPEG
Researchers have found evidence that the normally dim region very close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy flared up with at least two bright outbursts in the past few hundred years. These images are from a study of Chandra observations taken over twelve years that show rapid variations in the X-ray emission from gas clouds surrounding the supermassive black hole. The phenomenon, known as a "light echo," provides astronomers an opportunity to piece together what objects like Sgr A* were doing long before there were X-ray telescopes to observe them.
[Runtime: 00:20]

(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Return to Sagittarius A* (October 24, 2013)