Q&A: Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, AGN, and Quasars
In my local newspaper an article from the Los Angeles Times has
the following quote, "...the center of the galaxy..is a violent
place where stars are forming, dying and exploding at furious
rates and being buffeted by supernova shock waves." So, how do
you define "furious rates"? Is the reporter referring in cosmic
terms? Are new stars being formed at the rate of 1 per second?
or one per million years? and exploding at the same rate?
The star formation rate in the central region of the Milky Way
varies from place to place. It is concentrated in giant
molecular clouds that are common there. In one of these clouds,
a few hundred thousand stars have formed over the past ten
million years, and a hundred or more supernovas have occurred in
that period. In our neck of the Milky Way, the rate is much
less. No supernovas have occurred within a few dozen light years
in the last 10 million years.