Picture of the Day: The Center of Our Galaxy

By Rebecca J. Rosen

nasagalaxy.jpg


This infrared mosaic from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is the clearest survey of the Galactic Center -- the rotational center of the Milky Way -- available. Dust clouds prevent visible light from the Galaxy's core from reaching Hubble, but infrared light can make it through. In the image's lower-right hand region, a super-bright spiral of ionized gas surrounds the massive black hole at the Galaxy's center. The images, taken by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer captures the glow of ionized hydrogen gas and stars.

Image: NASA.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/10/picture-of-the-day-the-center-of-our-galaxy/246447/