Journey To The Center Of The Milky Way

 

High winds are the most normal things at the core of our Milky Way Galaxy. Suns orbit the Milky Way core at an astonishing 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) every second, according to astronomers. If we go at this rate, the orbit of the Earth around the Sun would be completed in merely three days. What is it at the galaxy’s core that allows stars to accelerate to such speeds?

 

Various scenarios have been explored by astronomers. Is The Centre Of Our Galaxy Hiding A Dense Cluster Of Superdense Neutron Stars Or Superdense Stellar Remnants In Its Centre? Or Maybe A Massive Sphere Of Neutrino Particles At The Subatomic Level? 

However, in the spring of 2002, these and other more exotic ideas were ruled out when a star known as S2 raced down the Milky Way core in 17 light-hours passing through its highly eccentric orbit. This might sound like a huge deal in human terminology but in galactic terms, it is a minuscule distance. To give you a brief idea, the distance between Pluto and the Sun will be covered three times in 17 light hours.

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A supermassive black hole is the only object compact enough and large enough to accelerate stars to such high speeds. Astronomers had hypothesized that a black hole must exist at the center of the Milky Way, but charting the orbits of S2 and other stars bolstered the case substantially.

Comparison Time!!!!

By comparison to what lurks in the core of other galaxies, our central black hole is actually pretty small. The presence of a black hole has already been discovered in the large elliptical galaxy M87 which is 6 billion times more gargantuan than the Sun. The powerful X-rays emanating from the galaxy NGC 6240 are most likely the result of two supermassive black holes colliding. A  black hole could exist in the Andromeda Galaxy. A black hole with a mass of 140 million solar masses could be found in the Andromeda Galaxy.

NCG 6240

Our galaxy’s black hole, by comparison, is tiny, comprising only roughly 4 million solar masses. However, since it is so close, we can examine it in great detail, including monitoring the orbits of dozens of stars that buzz about it like bees. The stellar-mass black holes discovered in some binary star systems are far too small for telescopes to view in detail any time soon. So studying the one at the center of the Milky Way is the greatest way to see what happens in the strange region around a black hole. It hasn’t failed to surprise us thus far.

The Inner Realm Of  The Milky Way Galaxy

You will find the core of our galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius which is about 26,000 light-years from our planet Earth. It’s a part of the sky where dazzling stars MX with black gas and dust clouds. When astronomers observe it in visible light, the true center is too shrouded to disclose much. Data acquired in infrared and radio wavelengths is what we know about it. These wavelengths can travel through dust and gas and reach telescopes on the ground.

Milky Way Galaxy

Astronomers have long known that the galactic core, after the Sun, is the most powerful source of radio energy in the sky. Sagittarius A, or Sgr A, is the name given to this vast core region.

Visualizing a black hole

Fast-moving stars like S2 are the best evidence that the Milky Way’s core contains a black hole. Periodic bursts of infrared light from Sgr A* provide further help. The bursts indicate that the black hole rotates every 17 minutes. Strong radio pulses have also been observed originating from Sgr A*, according to astronomers. This could mean that ultra-hot gas and dust packets are falling into the black hole.

However, none of this is based on solid evidence, it is just speculation. If scientists could visualize the black hole’s edge, or “event horizon,” beyond which no light or matter can escape, that would be solid proof.

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