Core of the galaxy in high-res

Core of the galaxy in high-res

New high-resolution mosaic sharpens understanding of Milky Way’s turbulent center

By Ron Cowen, 14:15 PM January 5, 2009

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Astronomers have produced the sharpest infrared portrait of the central 300 light-years of the Milky Way, showing details as small as 20 times the length of the solar system.

Seen in visible light, much of the crowded core is cloaked in dust clouds. But infrared light penetrates the dust, providing a clear view of this turbulent region, which houses a supermassive black hole at its very center and lies 26,000 light-years from Earth.

The false-color composite combines ...

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