X-ray/mm/radio comparison of the Galactic Center
Credit: X-ray (blue): NASA/CXC/Northwestern/F.Zadeh et al.; Millimeter Wavelength (green): Nobeyama/M.Tsuboi; Radio (red): NRAO/VLA F.Zadeh et al.

Exploring the Ridge

A strange "ridge" of X-ray emission along the plane of the Milky Way galaxy has puzzled astronomers for 30 years. Now a new observation by the Chandra X-ray observatory has helped to clarify the phyiscal mechanism which produces the emission. The image above compares radio (red), millimeter-wave (green) and X-ray emission (blue) for a region near the Galactic center. Fast-moving electrons from the radio arcs collide with a large, few million solar mass cloud of gas (shown by the millimeter wave emission). This collision then produces observable X-ray emission.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified May 13, 2002