Our galaxy's heart

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Our galaxy's heart

Post by Dragon on Mon May 14, 2018 5:43 pm


Credit: SO/ATLASGAL consortium; ESA/Planck

At first glance, this image may resemble red ink filtering through water or a crackling stream of electricity, but it is actually a unique view of our cosmic home. It reveals the central plane of the Milky Way as seen by ESA's Planck satellite and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), which is located at an altitude of around 5100m in the Chilean Andes and operated by the European Southern Observatory.

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Re: Our galaxy's heart

Post by Dragon on Mon May 14, 2018 5:44 pm



The centre of the Milky Way, 27 000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius, is a crowded place. This region is so tightly packed that it is equivalent to having one million stars crammed into the volume of space between us and Alpha Centauri, located 4.3 light-years away.

At the very hub of our galaxy, this dense nuclear star cluster surrounds the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, which alone is about four million times the mass of the Sun.

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Re: Our galaxy's heart

Post by Dragon on Mon May 14, 2018 5:45 pm



Except for a few blue, foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest stellar cluster in our galaxy.

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