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The tumultuous heart of our galaxy

The tumultuous heart of our galaxy

A new XMM-Newton image shows the powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas near the Milky Way’s center.
By ESA, Noordwijk, Netherlands | Published: Monday, August 24, 2015
RELATED TOPICS: MILKY WAY | STARS AND STAR CLUSTERS | SAGITTARIUS A*

The central regions of our galaxy, the Milky Way, seen in X-rays by ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory.

This image portrays powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas, showing us an unprecedented view of the Milky Way's energetic core. It was put together in a new study by compiling all observations of this region that were performed with XMM-Newton, adding up to over one month of monitoring in total.

The image combines data collected at energies from 0.5 to 2 keV (shown in red), 2 to 4.5 keV (shown in green) and 4.5 to 12 keV (shown in blue). It spans about 2.5º across, equivalent to about one thousand light-years.
ESA/XMM-Newton/G


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The central regions of our galaxy, the Milky Way, seen in X-rays by ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory.

This image portrays powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas, showing us an unprecedented view of the Milky Way's energetic core. It was put together in a new study by compiling all observations of this region that were performed with XMM-Newton, adding up to over one month of monitoring in total.

The image combines data collected at energies that correspond to the light emitted by heavy elements such as silicon and argon, which are produced primarily in supernova explosions, as well as other narrow energy bands. It spans about 2.5º across, equivalent to about one thousand light-years.


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