CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—NASA has launched a surprising new image of our galaxy’s violent, super-energized “downtown.”
It’s a composite of 370 observations over the previous 20 years by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, depicting billions of stars and numerous black holes within the middle, or coronary heart, of the Milky Means. A radio telescope in South Africa additionally contributed to the picture, for distinction.
Astronomer Daniel Wang of the College of Massachusetts Amherst mentioned Friday he spent a yr engaged on this whereas caught at house through the pandemic.
“What we see within the image is a violent or energetic ecosystem in our galaxy’s downtown,” Wang mentioned in an e-mail. “There are a variety of supernova remnants, black holes, and neutron stars there. Every X-ray dot or characteristic represents an brisk supply, most of that are within the middle.”
This busy, high-energy galactic middle is 26,000 mild years away.
His work seems within the June subject of the Month-to-month Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Launched in 1999, Chandra is in an excessive oval orbit round Earth.
By Marcia Dunn