May 23, 2015 -
This composite image shows an intergalactic “weather map” around the elliptical galaxy NGC 5813. Just like a weather map for Earth, the colored circle depicts variations in temperature across a region. This particular map presents the range of temperature in a region of space as observed by Chandra, with the hotter temperatures shown in red and decreasingly cooler temperatures shown in orange, yellow, green, and blue. Regular outbursts generated by the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 5813 provide heat, preventing much of the gas near the center of the galaxy from cooling to allow new stars to form.