The Milky Way’s tumultuous heart revealed in X-rays | Astronomy Now

The Milky Way’s tumultuous heart revealed in X-rays | Astronomy Now.This new image of powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas from the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray satellite observatory reveals some of the most intense processes taking place at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

The bright, point-like sources that stand out across the image trace binary stellar systems in which one of the stars has reached the end of its life, evolving into a compact and dense object — a neutron star or black hole. Because of their high densities, these compact remnants devour mass from their companion star, heating the material up and causing it to shine brightly in X-rays.

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