Galactic Centre through Integral’s eyes

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Released

16/10/2012

Length

00:06:12

Copyright

ESA

Description

The central region of our Milky Way, the Galactic Bulge, is a rich host of variable high-energy X-ray and gamma-ray sources.

After a short introduction illustrating Integral’s place in ESA’s fleet of astronomy and astrophysics satellites, the movie looks inside the central bulge to reveal these dynamic sources, which include X-ray binary systems with either a black hole or a neutron star, pulsars and remnants of supernova explosions.

A number of these sources only shine brightly for a limited period of time – in some cases, they appear as a sudden bright flash and disappear shortly afterwards, whereas others are more persistent. The effect of this constantly changing environment gives the Galactic Bulge the appearance of a dramatic cosmic light show.

Zooming back out of the Milky Way shows a bird’s eye view of the known gamma and hard X-ray sources in our Milky Way.

The movie concludes with a stunning fly-through of the central part of the Galactic Bulge before returning to our Solar System and the orbit of Integral around Earth.

Credits: ESA–C. Carreau & E. Kuulkers

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