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Galactic Center Radio Arc
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Galactic Center Radio Arc

October 20, 2005
Chandra observations of a region of the Galactic Center have found an X-ray filament and cloud about 40 light years across (blue). These X-ray features are associated with a huge cloud of cold gas (dark area in inset box) that is adjacent to large filamentary and shell-like structures that are bright sources of radio waves (red).

The X-ray emission is thought to be produced when energetic electrons from the radio filaments collide with the cold gas cloud, which has a mass one million times the mass of the Sun. This process of the bombardment of cold gas clouds with energetic electrons could explain the origin of the mysterious X-ray ridge along the plane of the galaxy that was discovered nearly 30 years ago.


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