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Illustration of galactic fountains

Illustration of galactic fountains

Date: 18 November 2010
Satellite: XMM-Newton
Copyright: ESA

This illustration of the Milky Way shows the galactic fountain scenario: supernova explosions in the galactic disc heat the interstellar medium and can drive hot gas out of the disc, creating so-called galactic fountains that contribute to the formation of a halo of hot gas around the Milky Way. As the gas rises above and below the disc, reaching heights of a few kiloparsecs, it emits radiation and thus becomes cooler, condensing into clouds which then fall back into the disc, in a fashion that resembles a fountain.

The fountains shown in this illustration are purely indicative, as the number of fountains actually present in the Milky Way is not well known.

The approximate location of the Sun in the galactic disc is also shown as a yellow spot.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Apr-2024 20:42 UT

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