DR. SKY BLOG

What lies at the exact center of the Milky Way galaxy?

Aug 22, 2019, 11:30 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

The center of our Milky Way galaxy is located some 26,000 light years away, in the constellation of Sagittarius!

That is very far, even on a galactic scale.

Our galaxy is shaped like a large distorted pinwheel, with upwards of 200 billion stars!

Our planet and its surrounding solar system is very small on this massive playing field. On the other hand, the density of stars that appear at the galactic center would boggle the mind, as every square degree of the sky would be filled with stars.

What lies at the exact center of the Milky Way?

Astronomers tell us that there is a super massive black hole, located at the center of this celestial whirlpool.

One of the most complicated and dynamic objects in the universe is the black hole, a place in time and space in which ALL light and electromagnetic energy is sucked into a tiny point of mass.

So, what do we know about this so-called super massive black hole, known as Sagittarius A?

Strong radio signals were picked up by the late scientist Karl Jansky in 1932 when he turned his crude radio telescope antennae toward the galactic center.

The suspected super massive black hole is surrounded by some 12 stars, and this may be a source of the rapid brightening of Sagittarius A.

Here is an image of what many believe to be the region surrounding Sagittarius A.

Here is the location of Sagittarius A in the night sky.

The region surrounding a black hole is one of the most amazing locations in the universe, as powerful forces are testing the limits of modern physics and cosmology.

This is a topic that we will be following in this column for some time to come!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

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What lies at the exact center of the Milky Way galaxy?