Want to take a trip to the center of the Milky Way? Check out a
new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization. This 360-movie
offers an unparalleled opportunity to look around the center of the galaxy,
from the vantage point of the central supermassive black hole,
in any direction the user chooses.
These winds provide a buffet of material for the supermassive black hole
to potentially feed upon. As in a previous visualization, the viewer can observe
dense clumps of material streaming toward Sgr A*.
These clumps formed
Along with watching the motion of these clumps, viewers can watch as relatively low-density
gas falls toward Sgr A*. In this new visualization, the blue and cyan colors represent
X-ray emission from hot gas, with temperatures of tens of millions of degrees;
red shows moderately dense regions of cooler gas, with temperatures of tens of thousands
of degrees; and yellow shows of the cooler gas with the highest densities.
Moving the phone around reveals a different portion of the movie, mimicking the effect in the VR goggles. Finally, most browsers on a computer also allow 360-degree videos to be shown on YouTube. To look around, either click and drag the video, or click the direction pad in the corner.
Dr. Christopher Russell of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Pontifical Catholic University) presented the new visualization at the 17th meeting of the High-Energy Astrophysics (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society held in Monterey, Calif. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.