Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Black Hole Is at the Center of Our Galaxy

German Astronomers working at an observatory in Chile have discovered a Black Hole four million times more massive than our sun at the center of our galaxy, confirming a long-standing theory of galaxy formation and anatomy.

Professor Reinhard Genzel, who won the 2008 Shaw award for his 16 years of work studying the center of our galaxy, said the galactic orbits of stars that he tracked near the middle of the galactic cluster proved the existence of super-massive black holes, and not only the one at the bull's eye of our galaxy.

The formation of galaxies in general is now believed to occur when massive black holes begin to drag together material, which then achieves the mass to create stars and achieves a gravitational equilibrium. At that point the black hole stops acting like a drain and behaves more like a hub.

Thank you to the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy for the image and their website.