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Animations of Galactic Center X-ray Binaries
Sequence Showing Evidence of Black Hole Swarm in Context
Sequence Showing Evidence of Black Hole Swarm in Context
QuickTime MPEG The first image in this sequence is Chandra's 900- by 400-light year mosaic of the Milky Way's center. Next, the view zooms into a smaller region where Chandra has found some 2,000 individual X-ray sources. Finally, Chandra's view of the area immediately surrounding Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, is shown. As part of a long-term monitoring program, Chandra found several variable X-ray sources. This variability suggests these sources are in systems containing their own stellar-sized black holes.
[Run Time: 1:02]
Galactic Center Mosaic: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al.
Sagittarius A*: NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K.Baganoff et al.
Galactic Center X-ray Binaries: NASA/CXC/UCLA/M.Muno et al.)

Time-lapse Movie of Galactic Center X-ray Binaries
Time-lapse Movie of Galactic Center X-ray Binaries
QuickTime MPEG This sequence of 5 images is part of an ongoing Chandra program that monitors a region around the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, Sgr A*. Four bright, variable X-ray sources were discovered within 3 light years of Sgr A*. The variability is indicative of an X-ray binary system where a black hole or neutron star is pulling matter from a nearby companion star. Such a high concentration of X-ray binaries in this region is strong circumstantial evidence that a dense swarm of 10,000 or more stellar-mass black holes and neutron stars has formed around Sgr A*. The swarm likely formed as stellar-mass black holes, and to a lesser extent, neutron stars, gradually sank toward the center of the Galaxy over the course of several billion years.
[Run Time: 1:02]
(Credits: NASA/CXC/UCLA/M.Muno et al.)

Return to Galactic Center X-ray Binaries (10 Jan 05)