Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Astro-Image of the Day: Milky Way’s Central Black Hole Awakens

Using imagery from a variety of X-ray satellites, a team of Japanese astronomers created this image and announced that a massive flare erupted from our galaxy’s central black hole 300 years ago. "The black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, is a certified monster, containing about 4 million times the mass of our Sun. Yet the energy radiated from its surroundings is billions of times weaker than the radiation emitted from central black holes in other galaxies.

"'We have wondered why the Milky Way’s black hole appears to be a slumbering giant,' says team leader Tatsuya Inui of Kyoto University in Japan. 'But now we realize that the black hole was far more active in the past. Perhaps it’s just resting after a major outburst.'"

Click the image to see the story.

A black hole 4 million times the mass of our Sun. That thar's a derned big monster. Imagine the flare it must have launched.

Tags: astronomy

  • I've started Patreon!

    ...where I post the kind of original content l post on my blogs (primarily Tumblr at the moment, keep meaning to visit here more!), plus a bunch…

  • Aliens!

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft scientists announce that a form of chemical energy that can feed life appears to exist on Saturn’s moon…

  • Back in the astro-seat!

    I finally did a little astrophotography again last night, experimenting with my new Meade LPI-G color Solar System imager. This is the best shot I…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.