Bruce Murray Space Image Library

The Milky Way by MeerKAT

The Milky Way by MeerKAT
The Milky Way by MeerKAT The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) released this image of the heart of the Milky Way taken using its radio telescope, MeerKAT. I. Heywood, SARAO

MeerKAT is the most sensitive telescope of its kind. A radio telescope is necessary to take an image like this because only radio waves can penetrate the dust between Earth and the center of the galaxy.

The yellow spot in the middle is the black hole that lies in the center of our galaxy. Its brightness represents a high concentration of radio emissions from material spiraling into the black hole.

Many new and previously-known radio features are seen in this image, including supernova remnants, compact star-forming regions, a large population of radio filaments, and radio bubbles.

Colors indicate bright radio emissions, and fainter emissions are shown in greyscale.