High-Energy X-rays Fill Center of our Galaxy

Nustar_nustar150429b_500

nustar_nustar150429b April 29th, 2015

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This picture from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NuSTAR, shows the very center of our Milky Way galaxy. The intense light near the center of the X-ray picture is coming from a spinning dead star, called a pulsar, which is near our galaxy's central supermassive black hole. While the pulsar's X-ray emissions were known before, scientists were surprised to find more high-energy X-rays than predicted in the surrounding regions, seen here as the elliptical haze.

Astronomers aren't sure what the sources of the extra X-rays are, but one possibility is a population of dead stars.

The NuSTAR image has an X-ray energy range of 20 to 40 kiloelectron volts.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar150429b

Curator: NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, Pasadena, CA

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Milky Way Galactic Center
Subject - Milky Way
Galaxy » Component » Center/Core

Distance

Universescale1
26,000 light years
Nustar_nustar150429b_128
 

Position Details

Position (FK5)
RA = 17h 45m 39.8s
DEC = -29° 0’ 27.4”
Orientation
North is 54.0° CCW
Field of View
12.3 x 12.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_magenta NuSTAR X-ray 41.3 pm
X-rays span energy range of 20 to 40 keV
Spectrum_xray1w
Arrow_top_magenta
Nustar_nustar150429b_1280
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ID
nustar150429b
Subject Category
B.5.4.9  
Subject Name
Milky Way, Galactic Center
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
26,000
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar150429b
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
NuSTAR
Instrument
Color Assignment
Magenta
Band
X-ray
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
0.041328
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
X
Coordinate Frame
FK5
Equinox
2000
Reference Value
266.415976025, -29.0076001917
Reference Dimension
300, 300
Reference Pixel
150.5, 150.5
Scale
-0.0006828076, 0.0006828076
Rotation
54
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
Country
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
Publisher ID
nustar
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/nustar/nustar150429b
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2015-07-06T18:41:53Z
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
26,000 light years