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YOU ARE HERE: Homepage > Galactic Orientation > The Milky-Way's Center

- Home of the Big Energy Party -

the place all stage 1 technology-using entities
in the Milky-Way galaxy recognize as the Primary
Navigational Reference Point for Interstellar Travel

Galactic Central
seen by Chandra Radio Telescope

Ultra-Close-up of Black Hole
Central Axis of Galaxy Seen in Radio

Above: Radio Telecsope Photo of Black Hole (light colored region) at Center of Milky-Way:
The Engine, Heart, Recycling Bin, Quantum Linkage Axis, Primary Reference Point
and Ultimate Research Goal for All Conscious life in our Galaxy

Pulling out a bit we see the complex environment at the Galactic Heart
Sgr A is the location of the Black-Hole - notice the plasma rings above it
(labelled 'Arc' ) in both pics

The Galactic Center - A Radio Mystery Credit: N. E. Kassim, D. S. Briggs, T. J. W. Lazio, T. N. LaRosa, J. Imamura (NRL/RSD)
Explanation: Tuning in to the center of our Milky Way galaxy, radio astronomers explore a complex, mysterious place. A premier high resolution view, this startlingly beautiful picture covers a 4x4 degree region around the galactic center. It was constructed from 1 meter wavelength radio data obtained by telescopes of the Very Large Array near Socorro, New Mexico, USA.
The galactic center itself is at the edge of the extremely bright object labeled Sagittarius (Sgr) A, suspected of harboring a million solar mass black hole. Along the galactic plane which runs diagonally through the image are tortured clouds of gas energized by hot stars and round-shaped supernova remnants (SNRs) - hallmarks of a violent and energetic cosmic environment. But perhaps most intriguing are the arcs, threads, and filaments which abound in the scene. Their uncertain origins challenge present theories of the dynamics of the galactic center.

Pulling out even more from the absolute galactic center,
we see the familiar looking clusters of stars, gas and dust in the galactic plane
"The size of M.W.'s Black Hole has been hard to determine because of the masking matter around it. The mass has been estimated to be about 3.2 to 4 million solar masses. Early estimates placed the diamter of a sphere to its event horizon at about 23 million kilometers (14 million miles). Recently, studies done by penetrating radio waves, using radio telescopes, has shed light on its dimensions, summarized in this diagram at right:

The radio wave results have changed this size to about 300 million kilometers (186 million miles)(for reference, recall that the M.W. center is about 26 l.y. from Earth). This may not actually pin down the more meaningful event horizon size, here referred to as the Black Hole shadow; the radio wave horizon may measure the outer extent of excited matter associated with the Black Hole. The shadow size may eventually be determined using gravitational lensing effects extractable from a Very Long Baseline Array of radio telescopes."
-ref. http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect20/A6.html

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