Space lovers and enthusiasts are in for a spectacular treat with a 360-degree visualization straight at the center of Milky Way. The simulation was made using data from many space telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.
Viewers can explore the galactic massive stars at the center of the galaxy. About 25 stars (shown in white in the video) are whirling at the center of the Milky Way over about 500 years and orbit about 1.5 light years from the core of the galaxy. These stars, referred to as Wolf-Rayet stars, discharge powerful winds of gas (shown in red). A monster black hole also lies at the center of the galaxy, and it deformed them by extreme gravity and then finally devoured them inside, according to Science News.
It is known that nothing escapes from inside a black hole. This supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is about 4 million times the mass of the sun. It is referred to as Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*.
The video shows two simulations, in which they start around 350 years in the past and span 500 years. In the first simulation, Sgr A* is in a bland state. Meanwhile, in the second simulation, it depicts a more violent Sgr A* that is spewing its own material, so that it repels the accumulation of cluster material (yellow blobs), which is common in the first part.
The new 360-degree visualization was presented by Christopher Russell from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and other colleagues at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington. He used the visualization to help demonstrate X-rays previously identified, which are in the form of a disk that expands around 0.6 light years outward from Sgr A*, according to NASA.
The results of their research indicate that the number of X-rays produced by the collision of winds depends on the strength of outbursts generated by Sgr A* and the period of time that has transpired since the eruption took place. Meanwhile, the powerful and more recent outbursts have resulted in weaker X-ray emission.
The 360-degree video could be watched in virtual reality (VR) goggles like Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. It could also be viewed on the YouTube app.