There’s a great article in today’s New York Times about new, very compelling evidence for a supermassive black hole lurking in the heart of the Milky Way.
Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, a team led by astronomer Reinhard Genzel has peered closer to the black hole’s edge than ever before. They observed clumps of gas zipping around at nearly one-third the speed of light, held in the gravitational clutches of an invisible object weighing more than four million Suns.
Only a black hole could be so massive, compact and dark. The knots of gas are so close to the black hole that they circle it every 45 minutes – any closer and they’d get pulled in.
Looking towards the center of the Milky Way, where the supermassive black hole resides.
If you’d like to know more, you can read the New York Times article, or or watch the excellent video below that accompanies it.
If you’re interested, you can also read the full scientific paper.
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