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NASA releases stunning new pic of Milky Way's 'downtown'

Milky Way Heart
Posted at 7:00 AM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 07:00:44-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has released a stunning new picture of our galaxy's violent, super-energized “downtown.”

It's a composite of hundreds of images taken by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory over the past two decades.

Astronomer Daniel Wang of the University of Massachusetts Amherst said Friday he spent a year working on this while stuck at home during the pandemic. The picture depicts billions of stars and countless black holes at the center, or heart, of the Milky Way.

This busy, high-energy galactic center is 26,000 light years away. Launched in 1999, Chandra is in an extreme oval orbit around Earth.