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Info 'bout black holes, and is there one in the center of the galaxy?

  1. Dec 17, 2008 #1
    1. What are some specifics about black holes?

    2. I've heard there's a supermassive one at the center of our galaxy--FACT or FICTION?

    Relevant websites, articles, etc. highly welcome! (I'm really interested in cosmology, obviously.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2008 #2


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    Fact. Time-lapse pictures have been taken of stars orbiting it over an interval of 10-15 years, maybe more.
    Its available online as a movie. You see the stars come in close and whip around and sail out----some of them have elliptial orbits.
    If I remember right the estimated mass of our galaxy's central black hole is around 2.5 million or 3 million solar masses.
    So the mass of a couple of million stars.

    You said you would like some facts about BHs. What have you been able to find out from Wikipedia?

    Is there anything about BHs at the Einstein-online website? It's a good source. A public outreach website maintained by one of the world's top research institutes.

    Give us some links to what you have been reading already, if you like, so we know where you are coming from and have stuff to comment on.

    I have a link to Einstein-online in my sig.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  4. Dec 22, 2008 #3
    According to this sci-am article, astronomers put the size of source of gravity, equivelent to ~3.7 million sol mass at the centre of our galaxy, within a diameter of 30 million km. If you work out what the Schwarzschild radius is of 3.7e6 sol mass then this puts it in the right ball park to be a black hole-


    another sci-am article-

  5. Dec 25, 2008 #4
    I highly recommend you high-tail it over to Wikipedia and read up. It has some interesting things, if you don't know much about BHs, and it's always a good read. 95% of stuff is cited, so it's completely true. While I haven't been there, Einstein Online sounds like a great website, too. Just need to time to dig in deep. :)
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