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More Images of Light Echo at Galactic Center
1
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2002
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2004
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Chandra X-ray Images of Light Echo at Galactic Center
Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence for a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center. The detection of a "light echo" revealed that the black hole devoured a mass equivalent to the planet Mercury about 50 years earlier.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/Caltech/M.Muno et al.)

2
Chandra X-ray Image of Sagittarius A*
This images shows the area surrounding the light echo at the Galactic Center, including Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A*, for short), the supermassive black hole in the Galactic Center. The light echo is produced when X-rays from the Milky Way's giant black hole bounce off surrounding gas clouds. The light echo is found approximately 50 light years away from Sgr A*.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/Caltech/M.Muno et al.)

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Combined
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Panel 4
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Panel 5
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Panel 6
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Illustrations of Light Echo
This series of illustrations shows how an outburst from Sgr A* -- produced when material falls into the black hole -- generates a light echo. The faint, star-like object in the center represents the typical, quiet behavior, when the black hole does not have much material to consume. When the black hole's feeding rate increases dramatically, the material around Sgr A* brightens. Although the black hole outburst stops, the light from the outburst continues to travel outwards and then reflects, or echoes, off three clouds of gas in its path.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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2002
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2004
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2005
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Light Echo at Galactic Center with Scale Bar


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Light Echo at Galactic Center with Scale Bar


Return to Light Echo at Galactic Center (10 Jan 07)