XMM-Newton's view of the Galactic centre
An X-ray view of the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is hosted. This image, obtained with ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory, shows the temperature of the X-ray emitting gas in this turbulent region, with cooler regions shown in red and hotter regions in green and blue.
The bright area at the middle of the image identifies the vicinity of Sagittarius A*. The yellow-orange features streaming above and below the centre are two colossal 'chimneys', extending hundreds of light-years each, that funnel material from the Galactic centre into two huge cosmic bubbles.
This view combines data collected in the following energy bands: 1.5–2.6 keV (shown in red); 2.35–2.56 keV (shown in green); 2.7–2.97 keV band (shown in blue). The many white patches, large and small, are artifacts where unrelated, bright, point-like X-ray sources have been removed from the image.
An animated version of this image is here.
The png download option to the right on this page is a clean cutout of the map on a transparent background, with annotations.