Earth is 2000 light-years closer to the Milky Way's miraculous black hole

James Marshall
November 28, 2020

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

Great news! Scientists have discovered that we are closer to 2000 light-years than the sound A *.

It is a problem that has long embraced our understanding of space phenomena.

For the past 15 years, the Japanese radio astronomy program, Vera, has been collecting data.

Thankfully, none of this means we're in any danger of being crushed to atoms - we're not moving closer to Sagittarius A*, we now simply have a more accurate representation of our location in the Milky Way galaxy based on new data.

But we are getting better at calculating those distances, through surveys that use the best available techniques and methods that are working hard to improve our 3D maps of the Milky Way, an area known as Astronomy measurement.

The project uses "interferometry" technology to connect data from multiple telescopes across Japan, and generates a super sharp resolution of 10 microseconds - in other words, enough attention to locate a coin on the moon's surface. Diameter dish. It's the same principle behind the Event Horizon Telescope that produced our first live image of a black hole's shadow.

VERA, which began monitoring in 2000, is created to help us calculate distances to radio emitting stars by calculating their difference. What's more, Earth is also moving at a faster speed.

This change in position can then be used to calculate how far away a star is from Earth, but not all parallax observations are created equally.

In August, VERA published its first catalog, containing data for 99 celestial objects.

Is at the center of our galaxy The navel is called A *.

The galaxy is 25,800 light-years from Earth - about 2,000 light-years closer than the International Astronomical Union's official distance of 27,700 light-years, which settled in 1985. Last year, Gravity Collaboration recalculated it and found it about 26,673 light-years away.

What's more, according to the map, our solar system is traveling at 227 kilometers per second as it orbits around the galactic center - this is faster than the official value of 220 kilometers per second, the release added.

This change may not seem like much, but it could have an impact on how we measure and interpret activity at the galactic center - in the end, hopefully, the more complex interactions around SGRA * lead to a more accurate picture.

Meanwhile, VERA's collaboration is forging ahead. Not only does the Milky Way continue to observe objects, it joins the larger project, the East Asian VLBI Network.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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