CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has released a stunning new image of our galaxy’s intense and powerful “downtown”.
It’s a compilation of 370 observations over the past two decades by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has imaged billions of stars and countless black holes in the center or heart of the Milky Way. A radio telescope in South Africa also contributed to the picture.
Astronomer Daniel Wang of the University of Massachusetts Amherst said on Friday he had spent a year solving the problem while being quarantined at home during the pandemic.
“What we see in the picture is an intense or energetic ecosystem in the center of our galaxy,” Wang said in an email. “There are many supernova remnants, black holes and neutron stars. Each point or feature of the X-ray represents a source of energy. which is mostly in the middle.”
This bustling, high-energy galaxy center is 26,000 light-years away.
His work appears in the June issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Launched in 1999, Chandra is in an extreme elliptical orbit around the Earth.
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