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Latest Galactic Center Stories

5c7557f78ae30c404938e0216025a8d11
2008-04-15 09:50:00

Using NASA, Japanese, and European X-ray satellites, a team of Japanese astronomers has discovered that our galaxy's central black hole let loose a powerful flare three centuries ago.The finding helps resolve a long-standing mystery: why is the Milky Way's black hole so quiescent? The black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), is a certified monster, containing about 4 million times the mass of our Sun. Yet the energy radiated from its surroundings is billions of times weaker...

4a46db11f152d1cbae3a3f63c47ca3951
2007-03-22 14:46:58

Chemical Composition of Stars in Clusters Can Tell History of our Galaxy Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has shown how to use the chemical composition of stars in clusters to shed light on the formation of our Milky Way. This discovery is a fundamental test for the development of a new chemical tagging technique uncovering the birth and growth of our Galactic cradle. The formation and evolution of galaxies, and in particular of the Milky Way - the...

b8cd610adaf4207f03447431b2739f981
2007-03-13 10:01:43

New Globular Cluster Found in Milky Way Images made with ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla by a team of German astronomers reveal a rich circular cluster of stars in the inner parts of our Galaxy. Located 30,000 light-years away, this previously unknown closely-packed group of about 100,000 stars is most likely a new globular cluster. Star clusters provide us with unique laboratory conditions to investigate various aspects of astrophysics. They represent groups of stars with similar...

f799af7dc50a25d196b8f78114a865cf1
2007-01-18 09:30:00

ESA's gamma ray observatory Integral has caught the centre of our galaxy in a moment of rare quiet. A handful of the most energetic high-energy sources surrounding the black hole at the centre of the Galaxy had all faded into a temporary silence when Integral looked. This unusual event is allowing astronomers to probe for even fainter objects and may give them a glimpse of matter disappearing into the massive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. The Galactic centre is one of the most...

40eeb0cfa10e5b5b0e6f24c8493a390b1
2007-01-11 09:25:00

Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center. A light echo was produced when X-ray light generated by gas falling into the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), was reflected off gas clouds near the black hole. While the primary X-rays from the outburst would have reached Earth about 50 years ago, the reflected...

f56eb0aa8df16b6873d84c19fb81d6731
2006-11-27 09:55:00

ESA's gamma-ray observatory, Integral, has spotted a rare kind of gamma-ray outburst. The vast explosion of energy allowed astronomers to pinpoint a possible black hole in our Galaxy. The outburst was discovered on 17 September 2006 by staff at the Integral Science Data Centre (ISDC), Versoix, Switzerland. Inside the ISDC, astronomers constantly monitor the data coming down from Integral because they know the sky at gamma-ray wavelengths can be a swiftly changing place. "The galactic centre...

02583a9a1bf1ec9d98fb40a970b4ea371
2006-01-27 00:00:00

Cambridge, MA - TV reality show contestants aren't the only ones under threat of exile. Astronomers using the MMT Observatory in Arizona have discovered two stars exiled from the Milky Way galaxy. Those stars are racing out of the Galaxy at speeds of more than 1 million miles per hour - so fast that they will never return. "These stars literally are castaways," said Smithsonian astronomer Warren Brown (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). "They have been thrown out of their home...

2006-01-11 07:43:13

UCLA -- UCLA astronomers can determine, for the first time, orbits of massive young stars located a few light months from the enormous black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy -- stars that hold an imprint of how they were born. The origin of young stars at the center of our galaxy has puzzled astronomers, but the orbits may be the key to unlocking the mystery, UCLA astronomy graduate student Jessica Lu reported today at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in...

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2006-01-10 10:25:00

JPL -- A new infrared mosaic from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope offers a stunning view of the stellar hustle and bustle that takes place at our Milky Way galaxy's center. The picture shows throngs of mostly old stars, on the order of hundreds of thousands, amid fantastically detailed clouds of glowing dust lit up by younger, massive stars. "With Spitzer, we can peer right into the heart of our own galaxy and see breathtaking detail," said Dr. Susan Stolovy of the Spitzer Science Center at...

2006-01-09 13:42:03

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The one-way journey from the heart of a galaxy into the oblivion of a black hole probably takes about 200,000 years, astronomers said on Monday. By tracking the death spiral of cosmic gas at the center of a galaxy called NGC1097, scientists figured that material moving at 110,000 miles an hour would still take eons to cross into a black hole. Black holes are drains in space that have gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. Huge...


Latest Galactic Center Reference Libraries

3_b44b7fd989f2076cfeda5fc743f39ab02
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Milky Way Galaxy -- The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia (gala, galactos means "milk")) is a hazy band of white light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc of our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of...

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