The Center of our Galaxy



Alright, with all those boring Mars images in the news here’s some *cool* astronomy: Conventional wisdom has it that you can’t see Black Holes and stars move so slowly that you have to wait a long long time to see them change their positions. While all that is true for most stars it’s not true for those that are in the center of our galaxy. We now believe there’s a Black Hole lurking there with a mass of a couple million solar masses - that’s not as spectacular as what we find in other galaxies, btw. And there are also lots of stars that orbit around that Black Hole like the planets orbit around our sun. If you wait around ten years and take images you can make a nice movie (actually, the movie was just the icing on the cake; they actually got the mass of the Black Hole out of this). The movie is around 6MB but it’s well worth the wait. Note how fast those stars move! It’s really the very center so that’s why there are so few stars. And note how nicely symmetric their orbits are! Also note how you can’t see the Black Hole - that’s where they have that red cross - because, after all, it would hardly be a Black Hole if you could see it.