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Unit 4: Galaxies & Cosmology

Stars Orbiting a Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) at the Center of the Milky Way

This movie shows the orbits of multiple stars in the central few parsecs of the Milky Way core. Telescope images taken from the years 1995 through 2013 are used to track specific stars. These orbits, and a simple application of Kepler's Laws, provide the best evidence yet for a supermassive black hole, which has an estimated mass of 4 million times the mass of the Sun.

Thanks to:
U. Chicago Cosmus Project and Keck / University of California, Los Angeles Galactic Center Group