Sagittarius A*

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Chandra X-ray
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X-ray Flare in Sagittarius A*: A compact radio source in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy thought to be a supermassive black hole.
(Credit: NASA/MIT/F.Baganoff et al.)

Caption: During a Chandra observation of the X-ray source located at the galactic center, the source was observed to brighten dramatically in a few minutes. After about 3 hours, the source declined rapidly to its pre-flare level. This is the most compelling evidence yet that matter falling toward the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is fueling energetic activity. The amount of material needed to produce the energy released in the flare would have had the mass of a comet.

Scale: Image is 8 arcmin on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory