We can now navigate the confines of our galaxy thanks to the 360º virtual recreation that NASA astronomers have done with the data and images collected by the telescopes that observe our visible universe.
A new visualization with data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes provides a virtual 360-degree journey to the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. This project allows viewers to control their own exploration of the fascinating environment of massive volatile stars and the powerful gravity around the black monster hole that lies at the center of the Milky Way.(Virtual Galaxy)
The Earth is about 26,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. While humans can not physically travel there, scientists have been able to study this region using data from powerful telescopes that can detect light in a variety of ways, including X-rays and infrared light.
From the point of view of the massive black hole of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A, the viewer can see around 25 Wolf-Rayet stars (scintillating white objects) while continually ejecting stellar winds (scale from black to red to yellow). These winds collide with each other, and then part of this material (yellow spots) spirals towards Sagittarius A.
The film shows two simulations, each of which starts around 350 years ago and covers 500 years. The first simulation shows Sagittarius A in a quiet state, while the second contains a more violent Sagittarius A that ejects its own material, which deactivates the accumulation of agglomerated material (yellow spots) that is so prominent in the first portion.(Virtual Galaxy)
It is a unique opportunity for us to travel through the constellations that have fascinated human beings since the beginning of time. An unrepeatable experience that we have at our fingertips, although for now we will have to settle for a “virtual” trip. However, it is still a fascinating journey.
Enjoy the 360º experience and travel to the center of the Milky Way:
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