Café & Kosmos 8 November 2010

At the heart of the Milky Way

4 November 2010

Astronomers need patience: at the next Café & Kosmos Dr Stefan Gillessen will explain how astrophysicists at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics found a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy — after collecting 16 years worth of data. This black hole is four million times more massive than our Sun, but it doesn’t shine.

During a clear night, you can easily see the star-spangled band of the Milky Way. However its centre is hidden behind dense gas and dust clouds, but astronomers can use modern infrared cameras to penetrate this veil and observe the stars at the galactic centre. Just as the planets orbit the Sun, these stars orbit an invisible object. Why does this have to be a black hole? Why do we think that all galaxies harbour such gravity monsters? Come to Café & Kosmos and find out!

The Café & Kosmos series of discussions is organised jointly by ESO, the Excellence Cluster Universe and the Max-Planck Institutes for Physics, Astrophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics. The discussions take place on the first Monday of each month at Café Jasmin in Munich. After a brief introduction the scientists take questions from the audience and discuss current issues from the cosmos.

Please note that the Café & Kosmos events take place in German.

What: Café & Kosmos – At the heart of the Milky Way
: 8 November 2010, 19:00 (until approximately 20:30)
: Café Jasmin, Steinheilstrasse 20 (U2, Theresienstraße). Admission is free.



Olivier Hainaut
Karl Schwarzschildstr. 2
85748 Garching bei München
Tel: +49 89 3200 6752

Barbara Wankerl
Excellence Cluster Universe
Boltzmannstr. 2
85748 Garching bei München
Tel: +49 89 35831 7105

About the Announcement



Dr. Stefan Gillessen
Dr. Stefan Gillessen