Last week observers at the European Southern Observatory confirmed something scientists have long suspected: Sagittarius A*, an astronomical radio source at the centre of our galaxy, is actually a supermassive black hole.
In order to prove this, scientists needed to observe objects travelling close to Sagittarius A*. When a star called S2 orbited deep into Sagittarius A*’s gravity well, a group of scientists from multiple European institutions observed three flares travelling at 30 percent the speed of light.
Now the European Southern Observatory has released a brilliant recreation of that sight as it occurred.
This video starts with a wide view of the Milky Way and then zooms into a visualization of data from simulations of orbital motions of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*.
The scale of the video is absolutely incredible. Very cool stuff indeed.