Archive for the Physics Category

Black Hole at the Centre of Milky Way

Jun 17th, 2004 Posted in Physics | Comments Off on Black Hole at the Centre of Milky Way

Precise observations in recent years at radio, infrared, and x-ray wavelengths have provided enough compelling evidence for most astronomers to subscribe to the awe-inspiring notion that a supermassive black hole resides at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. With a mass 4 million times that of our Sun, it exerts a dramatic gravitational influence o­n the motions of objects passing within its several-light-year sphere of influence. As extensive as this domain may seem, it is quite modest from our distant perspective, 25,000 light-years away; the angular size of the black hole's domain is about as large, projected o­nto the sky, as the disk of nearby Jupiter, about 30 arc sec. The black hole itself is vastly smaller, so obtaining an unambiguous measurement of its extent has long been a major challenge.
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