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Milky Way X-Rays
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Milky Way X-Rays

June 23, 2004
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed new evidence that extremely hot gas exists in a large region at the Milky Way's center. The discovery came to light as a team of astronomers used Chandra's unique resolving power to study a region about 100 light years across. This image was produced by combining a dozen NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory observations made of a 130 light-year region in the center of the Milky Way. The colors represent low (red), medium (green) and high (blue) energy X-rays. Thanks to Chandra's unique resolving power, astronomers have now been able to identify thousands of point-like X-ray sources due to neutron stars, black holes, white dwarfs, foreground stars, and background galaxies. What remains is a diffuse X-ray glow extending from the upper left to the lower right, along the direction of the disk of the galaxy.


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