Earth now 2,000 light-years closer to Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

20201126-mizusawa-fig

Earth is a little closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way than we believed.


NAOJ

At the center of the our galaxy, with a mass roughly 4 millions times that of our sun, is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*

And great news! It turns out scientists have discovered that we’re 2,000 light-years closer to this gigantic black hole than we thought.

This doesn’t mean we’re currently on a collision course with a black hole. No, it’s simply the result of a more accurate model of the Milky Way based on new data.

Over the last 15 years, a Japanese radio astronomy project, VERA, has been gathering data. Using a technique called interferometry, VERA gathered data from telescopes across Japan and combined them with data from other existing projects to create what is essentially the most accurate map of the Milky Way yet. 

By pinpointing the location and velocity of around 99 specific points in our galaxy, VERA has concluded that the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A, at the center of our galaxy, is actually 25,800 light-years from Earth — almost 2,000 light-years closer than what we previously believed. 

In addition, the new model calculates Earth is moving faster than we believed. Older models clocked Earth’s speed at 220 kilometers (136 miles) per second, orbiting around the galaxy’s centre. VERA’s new model has us moving at 227 kilometers (141 miles) per second.

Not bad!

VERA is now hoping to increase the accuracy of its model by increasing the amount of points it’s gathering data from by expanding into EAVN (East Asian VLBI Network) and gathering data from a larger suite of radio telescopes located throughout Japan, Korea and China. 

Source Article

Read more

Earth is 2,000 light-years closer to supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy than we thought | World

More than a century ago, Albert Einstein developed his famous theory of relativity. The idea that space and time are linked together means that time travel might be possible … one day, once physicists figure out how it works.

However, travelers and archeologists have known for centuries that the opportunity to step back in time already exists. Yes, really. By visiting archeological sites around the world, you can see how the city of Pompeii worked right before it was covered in volcanic ash, the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, incredible cave drawings in Brazil and Spain, and even the wealthy trading hub of Petra—no flux capacitor required. Even just learning about archeological findings from home, like the Rosetta Stone and its captivating code or a 44,000-year-old pictorial story from Sulawesi, Indonesia, offers a deeper appreciation for collective ancestors and a humbling reminder of our place in the universe.

When it comes to archeological discoveries, you’ve got a seemingly infinite array of options to read and learn about. So which ones have made the biggest impact on scientists’ understanding of humankind? To find out, Stacker took a look at 50 of the greatest archeological findings of all time, based on reports in news outlets (like National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, BBC News, and The Guardian), UNESCO World Heritage site listings, articles from archeology magazines, and other publications. The list includes important discoveries from around the world, ranging from the Americas to Asia, and even Antarctica.

While we’re all stuck at home, there’s no better way to transport yourself to a different time and place than by learning about fascinating archeological sites and discoveries across the globe. Click through to see 50 of the greatest archeological discoveries made throughout history—and don’t be surprised if they inspire future travel plans, once it’s safe to explore the world again.

You may also like: Oldest cities in America

Source Article

Read more

Earth just got 2,000 light-years closer to Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

At the center of the our galaxy there’s a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. It has a mass roughly 4 million times that of our sun.



Earth is a little closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way than we believed. NAOJ


© Provided by CNET
Earth is a little closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way than we believed. NAOJ

Great news! It turns out scientists have discovered that we’re 2,000 light-years closer to Sagittarius A* than we thought.

This doesn’t mean we’re currently on a collision course with a black hole. No, it’s simply the result of a more accurate model of the Milky Way based on new data.

Over the last 15 years, a Japanese radio astronomy project, VERA, has been gathering data. Using a technique called interferometry, VERA gathered data from telescopes across Japan and combined them with data from other existing projects to create what is essentially the most accurate map of the Milky Way yet. 



Earth is a little closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way than we believed.


© NAOJ

Earth is a little closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way than we believed.


By pinpointing the location and velocity of around 99 specific points in our galaxy, VERA has concluded that the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A, at the center of our galaxy, is actually 25,800 light-years from Earth — almost 2,000 light-years closer than what we previously believed. 

In addition, the new model calculates Earth is moving faster than we believed. Older models clocked Earth’s speed at 220 kilometers (136 miles) per second, orbiting around the galaxy’s centre. VERA’s new model has us moving at 227 kilometers (141 miles) per second.

Not bad!

VERA is now hoping to increase the accuracy of its model by increasing the amount of points it’s gathering data from by expanding into EAVN (East Asian VLBI Network) and gathering data from a larger suite of radio telescopes located throughout Japan, Korea and China. 

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

ESA Reveals ‘Otherworldly’ Photo Of A Peculiar Galaxy 271 Million Light-Years Away

KEY POINTS

  • The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of galaxy NGC 34
  • NGC 34 is a peculiar galaxy located in the constellation Cetus
  • The galaxy is a product of two massive spiral galaxies colliding and merging millions of years ago

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a photo of a unique galaxy located approximately 271 million light-years away from Earth.

The galaxy, called NGC 34, lies in the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster) and has an appearance that is continuously changing due to past events. The object, which is the result of two massive spiral galaxies colliding together, is also known as NGC 17, LEDA 781 or Mrk 938.

A tweet posted Monday by the European Space Agency (ESA) Twitter account showed the beautiful, glowing body of NGC 34 that outshines all other objects surrounding it. The otherworldly image captured by the Hubble reveals the galaxy’s translucent outer region that is covered with stars and wispy tendrils, making it look almost like it came straight out of a fairytale.

With a galaxy as peculiar as NGC 34, it is bound to have an interesting past as well.

“If we were able to reverse time by a few million years, we would see two beautiful spiral galaxies on a direct collision course. When these galaxies collided into one another, their intricate patterns and spiral arms were permanently disturbed,” Hubble astronomers said in a statement on the space telescope’s website.

“This image shows the galaxy’s bright center, a result of this merging event that has created a burst of new star formation and lit up the surrounding gas,” the astronomers continued. “As the galaxies continue to intertwine and become one, NGC 34’s shape will become more like that of a peculiar galaxy, devoid of any distinct shape.”

In the vastness of space, it is rare for two galaxies to collide with each other. But it can still occur in mega-clusters containing thousands of galaxies held together by gravity in one large region of space, the astronomers said.

NGC 34 was discovered in 1886 by astronomer Frank Muller. Later that year, it was once more observed by astronomer Lewis Swift. The galaxy has a diameter of about 165,000 light-years, Sci News reported.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a large, space-based observatory designed to observe the universe and the events happening within it. The telescope has made countless observations, including watching a comet collide with Jupiter and discovering moons around Pluto.

NASA also recently shared a stunning image taken by the Hubble. On Monday, the space agency posted a photo of interacting galaxies NGC 2799 and NGC 2798, showing the former seemingly being pulled into the center of the latter.

NASA said the interactions between the two neighboring galaxies could eventually result in a “merger or unique formation,” possibly similar to NGC 34.

Galaxy HSC J1631+4426 Image: Galaxy HSC J1631+4426, which broke the record for having the lowest oxygen abundance. The image was captured using the Subaru Telescope. Photo: NAOJ/Kojima et al.

Source A

Read more