The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is anchored by a black hole that is nearly 5 million times the mass of our Sun. Surrounding it is a chaotic city of stars, gas, and dust that we call Sagittarius A. We stacked false-color X-ray, infrared, and radio images into this single picture to show you the different structures hidden inside the core of our Galaxy. X-rays (purple) radiate from the super-hot gas trapped in the black hole’s grasp. The surrounding dust is heated by friction as it chaotically orbits around the black hole and then glows in infrared light (gold). And the enormous pools and three-armed rivers of gas shine in radio light (oranges and reds) to trace the complexity of magnetic fields in this violent neighborhood.
Credit: A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/CXC/STScI
Technical Details Telescope: VLA; HST; Spitzer; CXC Band: P; X; K; I; I; X-Ray Date: 1997-03-02T04:59 Center: RA: 17:45:40.05, Dec: -29:00:27.97 Field of View: 2.6 x 2 arcminutes