chandra 360
A new NASA visualization takes viewers to the center of the Milky Way galaxy. NASA

The coolest, shortest vacation out there is now available for anyone to take and there isn’t even any travel time involved. It’s a trip to the center of the Milky Way, courtesy of NASA and its Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes as well.

It would take a person 26,000 light years to actually get to the center of the galaxy but with the help of NASA telescopes, anyone can now see what it’s like without actually traveling there. The visualizations are based on data from the observatories and telescopes and show the Milky Way and its winds, stars, and the supermassive black hole.

In addition to the video NASA posted, the Chandra X-ray Observatory also make a 360-degree video that viewers can use to travel to the center of the galaxy and then maneuver around the video. Simply clicking and dragging around the video shows different areas in the galaxy allowing viewers to control where they explore.

Or viewers can simply watch the full tour accompanied by an explanation.

The visuals include Wolf-Rayet stars that are all within about 1.5 light years of the area the video focuses on. Wind and gas stream from the stars and that gas collides with gas streaming from other stars to make shock waves in the area. Those shock waves help heat the gas which is what makes them visible in x-ray imaging, according to NASA. In the video the viewers can maneuver around to see about 20 of these stars, they’re easy to recognize because they appear white and they twinkle.