Friday, December 19, 2008

'Conclusive proof' of supermassive black hole at galaxy's center

In September, Pound 360 blogged on how scientists were closing on the identity of a mysterious "colossal object" at the center of the Milky Way. And this week, CNN reports German astronomers now have "conclusive proof" of a black hole 40-times the mass of our own sun anchoring the galaxy.

While the black hole (known as Sagittarius A) is pretty amazing itself, the sleeper story here is the fact that we're actually able to study the galaxy's center. There's a lot of light, dust and other distortion between here and there, and things are really busy around the Sagittarius A.

It's only recently that technology has allowed us to unlock the galaxy's core. Now, we have a "unique laboratory" for studying "strong gravity, stellar dynamics and star formation," reports CNN. Expect some pretty exciting new discoveries in the years to come.

By the way, one of the stars rotating around Sagittarius A completes an orbit once every 16 years. In contrast, the Earth (which is 27,000 light years away from the center of the galaxy) completes a galactic orbit once every 225 million years.

12 comments:

a.k.satsangi said...

Comment by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi on 27 December 2008:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Many views on the Origin of Universe are available. Most popular view is that universe was born with a big-bang from a highgly dense energy point. But I have some different view on it. I think the universe was not born from a concentrated point or ball like structure but it has been evolved from an infinite vast expanse of field of gravity. Philosophically or religously we may call it field of consciousness or spirituality.

A great flow of current of gravitation force descended down from this source and has created many regions of pure gravitation force below it. This was the creation for quite some time in the first phase of the creational process. In the second phase when when the current of gravitation force further descended down then electromagnetic forces and matter (weak and strong nuclear forces)manifested and the entire universe of the second phase was completed with the admixture of all the forces viz., gravitatin force, electromagnetic forces, and matter (weak and strong nuclear forces. The completion of the whole cosmos in two phases was also hinted in one of the speeches of Prof. J.V.Narlikar some years back. When the process of creation of universe reverts back in Brahmand (universe created during second phase of creational process)the matter merges into electromagnetic force and then finally electromagnetic forces merge into gravitation force and nothing remains except field of gravity in a highly dense body (Black Hole. The process of reversal does not take place in the universe created during first phase of creation. The cycle of universe completes like this.

pound360 said...

Hi a.k.satsangi... interesting stuff. If you're looking for Pound360's favorite theory on the origin of the universe, check out this mind-bending post... http://www.pound360.net/2008/01/meet-incredibly-strange-boltzmann-brain.html

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.