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More Images: Telescopes Show the Milky Way's Black Hole is Ready for a Kick
Illustration of Sagittarius A*
Illustration Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss;
Click for large jpg Illustration

Jpeg, Tif
Click for large jpg Illustration
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This artist's illustration shows a cross-section of the supermassive black hole and surrounding material in the center of our galaxy. The black sphere in the center represents the event horizon of the black hole, the point of no return from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Looking at the spinning black hole from the side, as depicted in this illustration, the surrounding spacetime is shaped like an American football. The yellow-orange material to either side represents gas swirling around the black hole. This material inevitably plunges towards the black hole and crosses the event horizon once it falls inside the football shape. The area inside the football shape but outside the event horizon is therefore depicted as a cavity. The blue blobs show jets firing away from the poles of the spinning black hole.

X-ray Image of Sagittarius A*
Credit: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Wisconsin/Y.Bai, et al.
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A new study shows that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way (abbreviated as Sgr A*) is spinning very rapidly. Scientists found it is spinning with 60% of the maximum possible rate of spin, a limit set by material not being able to travel faster than the speed of light. This image shows Sgr A* in X-ray light from Chandra.

Return to: Telescopes Show the Milky Way's Black Hole is Ready for a Kick (February 8, 2024)