Donnerstag, 1. November 2007

Stars orbiting the Supermassive Black Hole at our Galactic Center

Current Sound: Depeche Mode "Useless" Remix, K&D Sessions

This demo shows the observed and predicted orbits of thirteen stars that were used by astronomers at the Keck/UCLA Galactic Center Group to predict the position of a huge black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

The stars and their orbits are shown in a box of length ~0.8 parsecs, or about 15 trillion miles. Specifically, the box length is 2 units, where each unit is an arcsecond distance from the black hole. The center of our galaxy is about 8000 parsecs (or 8 kiloparsecs) from Earth. And at that distance, 1 arcsecond is ~0.04 parsecs = 8000 astronomical units (AU).

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