The centre of the Milky Way

The centre of our Milky Way galaxy is located in the southern constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) and is "only" 26,000 light-years away. On high-resolution images, it is possible to discern thousands of individual stars within the central, one light-year wide region.

Using the motions of these stars to probe the gravitational field, observations over the last decade have shown that a mass of about 3 million times that of the Sun is concentrated within a radius of only 10 light-days of the compact radio and X-ray source SgrA* (Sagittarius A) at the centre of the star cluster. This means that SgrA* is the most likely counterpart of the black hole believed to exist at the centre of our Galaxy.

This image was obtained in mid-2002 with the NACO instrument at the 8.2-m VLT Yepun telescope. It combines frames in three infrared wavebands between 1.6 and 3.5 µm. The compact objects are stars and their colours indicate their temperature (blue ="hot", red ="cool"). There is also diffuse infrared emission from interstellar dust between the stars.

A newer image of that region has been published in 2008; see image eso0846a.

Kilde:

ESO

Om bildet

ID:eso0226a
Type:Observasjon
Publiseringsdato:16. oktober 2002
Relaterte pressemeldinger:eso0226
Størrelse:2598 x 2362 px

Om objektet

Navn:Milky Way Galactic Centre
Type:Milky Way : Galaxy
Avstand:25000 lysår
Constellation:Sagittarius
Kategori:Galaxies

Bildeformater

Stor JPEG
1015,6 KB
Medium JPEG
246,4 KB

Skrivebordsbakgrunner

1024x768
259,9 KB
1280x1024
369,9 KB
1600x1200
466,0 KB
1920x1200
523,3 KB
2048x1536
679,6 KB

Koordinater

Position (RA):17 45 40.04
Position (Dec):-29° 0' 26.95"
Field of view:0.30 x 0.28 arcminutes
Orientering:Nord er 0.3° til høyre for vertikalen

Farger og filtre

BåndBølgelengdeTeleskop
Infrarødt
K
2.18 μmVery Large Telescope
NACO