Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Black Holes

Q:
I would like to know if Sagittarius A* is exactly in the center of the Milky Way. If not, then where is it? I heard that it is not in the center because it balances the galaxy's density. Is this correct?

A:
Astronomers believe there is a black hole in the center of our galaxy. We've carefully observed the motion of stars orbiting very close to the central mass of our galaxy, and from their velocity and position we can conclude that there is a dark massive body in the center of the galaxy, with a mass approximately 3 million times that of the Sun. The rest of the galaxy revolves around the central mass very calmly.

Our central black hole is called Sagittarius A* (pronounced as "sagittarius a star") and we have a beautiful Chandra X-ray image of it at:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2003/0203long/

There are many links at the bottom of that page with more information on both black holes and the center of our galaxy.

Back | Index | Next