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.

Källa:

ESO

Om bilden

ID:eso0226a
Typ:Observation
Publiceringsdatum:16 oktober 2002
Relaterade pressmeddelanden:eso0226
Storlek:2598 x 2362 px

Om objektet

Namn:Milky Way Galactic Centre
Typ:Milky Way : Galaxy
Avstånd:25000 ljusår
Constellation:Sagittarius
Kategori:Galaxies

Bildformat

Originalstorlek
17,6 MB
Stor jpeg
1015,6 kB
Skärmstor jpeg
246,4 kB

Skrivbordsunderlägg

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 är 0.3° höger om lodrätt

Färger och filter

BandVåglängdTeleskop
Infrarött
K
2.18 μmVery Large Telescope
NACO