Saturday, February 27, 2010

For All It's Misery, NOW is a Pretty Amazing Time to be Here

At the center of all large galaxies, including, of course, our own, there is a supermassive black hole. In the case of the galaxy our solar system calls home, it is about 4 million solar masses. Now studying black holes is hard, because, well, they're BLACK. Nothing gets out, not even light or radiation, so they cannot be observed directly.

Andrea Ghez has been observing the stars trapped in orbit around this huge black hole for about ten years. And she has produced a little video of the results. Now mind you, this is not an animation of some guesses - this is the actual movement of actual stars around the actual supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. It happened in our time, while we were here. What could be more awe inspiring?

No comments:

Post a Comment