DR. SKY BLOG
Image released of supermassive black hole at center of Milky Way
May 18, 2022, 2:00 PM
(Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration via AP)
Here we go again!
The mystery of the black hole is in the news again with the discovery of what appears to be a supermassive black hole near the nucleus of our Milky Way galaxy.
Just to clarify, the center of our Milky Way galaxy is some 27,000 light years from Earth.
With at least a trillion stars in the Milky Way, we have now “imaged” the area around the black hole.
But first, a black hole is a region in space which pulls in all types of energy – light, heat and gravity.
The dynamics of a black hole are seen here.
As far as the late 1800ss, the concept of the black hole has been in the mind of scientists but not until the early 20th century did we get to explore this concept in detail with the likes of great scientists like Albert Einstein and Karl Schwarzschild.
The story of the history of the black hole is explored here.
The image of the first black hole came to us from detailed observations with the Event Horizon Telescope, not an optical telescope but a series of radio telescopes using a technique known as long range baseline interferometry.
The “image” that was produced from a large super massive black hole in the galaxy known as M87 appears here.
The Event Horizon Telescope has now made another amazing discovery!
This time, the series of radio telescopes imaged the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and spied on the super massive black hole know as Sgr A.
Here is what that imaged revealed.
The black hole is massive indeed and is eating stars in the crowded regions of the galactic nucleus.
Learn more about the Event Horizon Telescope here.
Our Milky Way galaxy is amazing and we live some 27,000 light years from the central nucleus. Our galaxy is shaped like a spiral with a central bar of material extending across the nucleus.
Here is a better look at our Milky Way galaxy.
The news of the galactic nucleus black hole is amazing in that long after we thought it to be real on paper, we now have confirmation of it.
The other amazing discovery in astronomy is the conformation of the first detection of gravity waves from two colliding black holes. This was detected by a unique instrument known as LIGO on Sept. 14, 2015.
LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) has detected these amazing waves and the story is outlined here.
The news release on the new imaging of our Milky Way black hole is here.
Here is the video to explain the discovery.
What an amazing time to be alive!
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