Galactic Centre

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Baade's Window on the Milky Way
The Galactic Centre, as seen by one of the 2MASS infrared telescopes, is in the bright upper left portion of the image
The crowded centre of the Milky Way

The Galactic Centre (or Galactic Center) is the rotational center of the Milky Way galaxy.

It is a supermassive black hole of 4,100 ± 0.034 million solar masses. It powers the compact radio source Sagittarius A*.[1][2][3][4]

It is 8 ± 0.4 kiloparsecs (26,100 ± 1,300 ly) away from Earth[5] in the direction of the constellations Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, and Scorpius where the Milky Way appears brightest.

Baade's window[change | change source]

Walter Baade searched for the centre of the Milky Way galaxy in the mid-1940s. He used the 100-inch (2.5 m) Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California.

Up until then the structure and position of the galactic center was not known for sure.[6]

In 2006, the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS) conducted a survey of 180,000 stars for seven days. The objective was to detect extrasolar planets by the transit method.[7]

OGLE and other observation programs have successfully detected extrasolar planets orbiting around central bulge stars in this area by the gravitational microlensing method.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Scientists find proof a black hole is lurking at the centre of our galaxy". Metro. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  2. "A 'mind-boggling' telescope observation has revealed the point of no return for our galaxy's monster black hole". The Middletown Press. 2018-10-31. Archived from the original on 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  3. Plait, Phil (2018-11-08). "Astronomers see material orbiting a black hole *right* at the edge of forever". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on 10 November 2018.
  4. Henderson, Mark (2009-12-09). "Astronomers confirm black hole at the heart of the Milky Way". Times Online. Archived from the original on 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. Gillessen, S.; Eisenhauer, F.; Fritz, T.K.; Pfuhl, O.; Genzel, R. (2013). "The distance to the Galactic Center". Advancing the Physics of Cosmic Distances, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, IAU Symposium, Volume 289. 8: 29–35. Bibcode:2013IAUS..289...29G. doi:10.1017/S1743921312021060.
  6. Baade W. (August 1946). "A search for the nucleus of our galaxy". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 58 (343): 249–252. Bibcode:1946PASP...58..249B. doi:10.1086/125835.
  7. "SIMBAD Details on Acronym: SWEEPS". SIMBAD. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2009-05-21.