An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
A swarm of stars orbiting a vast black hole at the center of the Milky Way has been mapped with remarkable precision, providing astronomers with their most detailed look yet at the heart of our galaxy.
Observations by the European Southern Observatory in Chile has found the strongest evidence yet of a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core, as well as charting the immense gravitational effects this has on the surrounding stars.
Over 16 years, the orbits of 28 stars in the Milky Way’s central region have been meticulously tracked by astronomers, allowing them to study the hidden black hole that influences their movements.
The black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced “Sagittarius A-star”), cannot be seen directly, but its nature can be inferred from the pattern of motion of the stars that surround it. Details of the research are published in the Astrophysical Journal.