What is happening just around the black hole in the center of the Milky Way?
What is happening just around the black hole in Milky Way ? How do the stars behave around it ? How violent is the place around the black hole ? Are there millions of stars around it ? Is there more light around it ?
Although the existence of a black hole in the center of our galaxy was hypothesized for a long time, direct evidence wasn't found until an X-Ray source was discovered coming from behind the constellation Sagittarius, an object called Sagittarius A*. Since then, much more information has been collected about this supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way.
The area around the black hole is incredibly violent, with periodic flaring and sporadic explosions, and jets of particles travelling near the speed of light from the black hole's event horizon. These jets extend 1-2 light-years out from the black hole itself. Also, enormous lobes of gas heated to 20 million degrees Celsius extend tens of light-years out from the black hole. It is a very violent place indeed, but there is evidence that there is not a huge amount of matter in the immediate vicinity, so the black hole is taking in matter at a low rate. This means that there is less light coming from the vicinity of the black hole than from other black holes.
Here are some very interesting links about this black hole, describing recent X-Ray images and explaining how a single star is orbiting very close to the black hole.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- What would happen if a supermassive black hole came close to the Earth?
- Are names given to black holes?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.
This page has been accessed 29539 times since March 6, 2003.
Last modified: July 11, 2003 2:24:29 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)