Lecture34_LB.doc - TheGalacticCenter

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The Galactic Center  The nucleus of the galaxy at the very core of the galaxy is not visible to us in  visible light; there is too much obscuration from the dust.  However, it can be seen at  infrared and radio wavelengths.  In fact, the galactic center was the first celestial object to  be detected by a radio telescope (in 1932); it is much brighter than the Sun at radio  wavelengths.  At the very center is an enigmatic radio source known as Sgr A*.  This  source has only recently been resolved with any radio telescope, and seems to lie at the  very center of the galaxy. Recent observations of stars at the galactic center (in the infrared) are able to  detect their proper motions, an outstanding technical feat. These show that there is a source, consistent with the position of Sgr A* that has a mass  of about 2.5 million times that mass of the Sun, but it must be very tiny!  In fact, this  object can only be a black hole, unless it is some even more bizarre object.  This back 
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2011 for the course ASTRO 10 taught by Professor Norm during the Spring '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Lecture34_LB.doc - TheGalacticCenter

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