The Centre of our Galaxy

Observers under dark skies, far from the bright city lights, can marvel at the splendour of the Milky Way, arching in an imposing band across the sky. Zooming in towards the centre of our galaxy, about 25 000 light-years away, you can see that it is composed of myriads of stars. This is a pretty impressive sight, but much is hidden from view by interstellar dust, and astronomers need to look using a different wavelength, the infrared, that can penetrate the dust clouds. With large telescopes, astronomers can then see in detail the swarm of stars circling the supermassive black hole, in the same way that the Earth orbits the Sun. This sequence is made of real photos, including the actual high-resolution images of this 16-year long study.


ESO/S. Gillessen and B. Gilli

About the Video

Release date:10 December 2008
Related releases:eso0846
Duration:01 m 04 s
Frame rate:30 fps

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