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