Zoom all the way into the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy


Mesut Felat Özsoy

Last week observers at the European Southern Observatory confirmed something scientists have long suspected: Sagittarius A*, an astronomical radio source at the centre of our galaxy, is actually a supermassive black hole.

In order to prove this, scientists needed to observe objects travelling close to Sagittarius A*. When a star called S2 orbited deep into Sagittarius A*’s gravity well, a group of scientists from multiple European institutions observed three flares travelling at 30 percent the speed of light.

Now the European Southern Observatory has released a brilliant recreation of that sight as it occurred.

From the YouTube description:

This video starts with a wide view of the Milky Way and then zooms into a visualization of data from simulations of orbital motions of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*.

The scale of the video is absolutely incredible. Very cool stuff indeed.

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