New Space Image Shows Tapestry Of Energy At Centre Of Milky Way

·1-min read

A stunning image released on 27 May shows threads of superheated gas and magnetic fields that are weaving a tapestry of energy at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

The new image of the "cosmic masterpiece" was made using a giant mosaic of data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa.

The new panorama of the Galactic Center builds on previous surveys from Chandra and other telescopes.

This latest version expands Chandra's high-energy view farther above and below the plane of the Galaxy - that is, the disk where most of the Galaxy's stars reside - than previous imaging campaigns.

In the image featured in the main graphic, X-rays from Chandra are orange, green, blue and purple, showing different X-ray energies, and the radio data from MeerKAT are shown in lilac and gray. The main features in the image are shown in a labelled version.

One thread is particularly intriguing because it has X-ray and radio emission intertwined. It points perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy and is about 20 light years long but only one-hundredth that size in width.