Chandra Galactic Center Mosaic
Credit: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al.

Midtown of the Milky Way

Bright lights, big galaxy. The Chandra X-ray Observatory has recently obtained a detailed color mosaic of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Bright points of light show hot compact objects bathed in a swirling glow of hot gas clouds. The hot gas may be produced by the deaths of old stars, or from the winds of very massive young stars. At any rate, the pressure of this high temperature gas produces a flow from the center to the rest of the galaxy. This flow apparently helps to spread heavy elements (those necessary for life, like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, molybdenum, etc.) throughout the Milky Way.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified January 11, 2002