Chandra image of the Milky Way Center (NASA/CXC/UCLA/M. Muno et al.)
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. The Marshall Center manages the Chandra program.
A long look by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed new evidence that extremely hot gas exists in a large region at the center of the Milky Way. The intensity and spectrum of the high-energy X-rays produced by this gas present a puzzle as to how it is being heated.
The discovery came to light as a team of astronomers, led by Michael Muno of UCLA used Chandra’s unique resolving power to study a region about 100 light years across and painstakingly remove the contributions from 2,357 point-like X-ray sources due to neutron stars, black holes, white dwarfs, foreground stars, and background galaxies.
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