Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
Stars
White Dwarfs
Supernovas
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Quasars
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Miscellaneous
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
4K JPG
Multiwavelength
Sky Map
Constellations
3D Wall
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Desktops
High Res Prints
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
AVM/Metadata
Getting Hard Copies
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Galactic Center Animations
360-Degree Video: An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center
(Credit: NASA/CXC/Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Chile /C.Russell et al.)
[Runtime: 1:51]


A 360-degree movie immerses viewers into a simulation of the center of our Galaxy. This visualization was enabled by data from Chandra and other telescopes and allows viewers to control their own exploration of this region. From the vantage point of the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, Sgr A*, the viewer can see about 25 Wolf-Rayet stars (white, twinkling objects) as they continuously eject stellar winds (black to red to yellow color scale). These winds collide with each other, and then some of this material (yellow blobs) spirals towards Sgr A*. The movie shows two simulations, each of which start around 350 years in the past and span 500 years. The first simulation shows Sgr A* in a calm state, while the second contains a more violent Sgr A* that is expelling its own material, thereby turning off the accretion of clumped material (yellow blobs) that is so prominent in the first portion.


A Tour of the Galactic Center
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 3.00]

With closed-captions (at YouTube)

The Earth is located about 26,000 light years, or about 200,000 trillion miles, from the center of the Galaxy. While humans cannot physically travel there, scientists have been able to study this region by using data from powerful telescopes that can detect light in a variety of forms, including X-ray and infrared light.

A new visualization provides an exceptional virtual trip — complete with a 360-degree view — to the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This project, made using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, allows viewers to control their own exploration of the fascinating environment of volatile massive stars and powerful gravity around the monster black hole that lies in the center of the Milky Way.

This visualization builds on infrared data with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope of 30 massive stellar giants called Wolf-Rayet stars that orbit within about 1.5 light years of the center of our Galaxy. Powerful winds of gas streaming from the surface of these stars are carrying some of their outer layers into interstellar space.

When the outflowing gas collides with previously ejected gas from other stars, the collisions produce shock waves, similar to sonic booms, which permeate the area. These shock waves heat the gas to millions of degrees, which causes it to glow in X-rays. Extensive observations with Chandra of the central regions of the Milky Way have provided critical data about the temperature and distribution of this multimillion-degree gas.

Astronomers are interested in better understanding what role these Wolf-Rayet stars play in the cosmic neighborhood at the Milky Way's center. Scientists have also used this visualization to examine the effects Sgr A* — the Milky Way's supermassive black hole — has on its stellar neighbors. And, by creating this new visualization, they have also allowed anyone who is interested to virtually explore the center of the Milky Way like never before.


A Quick Look at the Galactic Center
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 1:08]

The Earth is located about 26,000 light years, or about 200,000 trillion miles, from the center of the Galaxy.

While humans cannot physically travel there, scientists have been able to study this region by using data from powerful telescopes.

A new visualization, based on data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, lets viewers explore the Milky Way's center.

In this 360-degree movie, viewers can see powerful winds from giant stars around the Galaxy's supermassive black hole.

Scientists are using this visualization to examine the effects from the black hole on its stellar neighbors.




Return to Galactic Center (January 10, 2018)