Chandra snaps image of Galactic Center's radio arc
Posted: January 27, 2002

X-ray gas associated with Galactic Center radio arc. Credit: X-ray (blue): NASA/CXC/Northwestern/F.Zadeh et al.; Millimeter Wavelength (green): Nobeyama/M.Tsuboi; Radio (red): NRAO/VLA F.Zadeh et al.
Chandra observations of a region of the Galactic Center have found an X-ray filament and cloud about 40 light years across (blue). These X-ray features are associated with large filamentary and shell-like structures that are bright sources of radio waves (red).

The X-ray emission is thought to be produced when energetic electrons from the radio filaments collide with a cloud of cold gas that has a mass one million times the mass of the sun. This process of the bombardment of cold gas clouds with energetic electrons could explain the origin of the mysterious X-ray ridge along the plane of the galaxy that was discovered nearly 30 years ago.