A dramatic new view of the Milky Way by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals the spiral of gas and the superheated magnetic field that weaves the universe together.
A panoramic X-ray view of the galactic center includes 370 separate points of the orbiting telescope, built on previous Chandra observations over the past two decades.
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The MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa also contributed to Chandra described as multicolored mosaic.
The composite shows billions of stars and countless black holes in the center or center of the Milky Way, 26,000 light-years away.
The orange, green and purple x-rays will be combined with the gray radio data from MeerKAT, and the new version expands Chandra’s high-energy view. “Farther above and below the galaxy’s plane, that is the disk on which most of the galaxy’s stars reside – than previous shooting campaigns.”
In the release accompanying this visual, Chandra emphasized the importance of threads that “Especially interesting” shown below, where x-ray and radio waves are intertwined and speckled. “It is perpendicular to the galaxy’s plane and is only about 20 light years. It is one hundredth of that size. “
An additional investigation by the University of Massachusetts at Daniel Wang of Amherst found that the properties of X-rays and radio emission indicate these features. “Bound by a thin strip of magnetic field” in a process known as magnetic reconnection.
Chandra explains that the process, like a phenomenon that expels powerful particles from the sun, affects space weather and supernova explosions, eruptions of matter and nearby stars expel hot gas. Go out
“What we’re seeing in the picture is an extreme or powerful ecosystem in the center of our galaxy,” Wang said in an email. “There are many supernovae, black holes and neutron stars there, each of which represents a powerful energy source, mostly in the middle,” Wang said in an email on Friday.
Wang’s work, published in the June issue of the Royal Astronomical Society monthly announcements, shows large amounts of hot gas likely to have been heated by a recent supernova explosion and magnetic connection. This extends to approximately 700 light years above and below the Galaxy plane.
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While the observatory noted that reconnection events “Usually not powerful enough to be detected in X-rays,” and those events may play a key role in heating interstellar gases, accelerating particles to generate cosmic rays and stimulating stars.
“The images show that magnetic spirals tend to occur at the outer boundary of large plume hot gas. This suggests that the gas in the plume is driving a colliding magnetic field to form the spiral,” said the publisher.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.