Earth is approaching the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy more than we thought.

Earth is approaching the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy more than we thought.

This map suggests that the center of the Milky Way and the black hole that sits there are 25,800 light-years from Earth. According to the National Observatory for Japan, the value of the 27,700 light-years accepted by the International Astronomical Union in 1985 is very close to the official value.

What’s more, our solar system orbits the center of the galaxy at a speed of 227 kilometers per second – which is faster than the actual value of 220 kilometers per second.

These updated values ​​are the result of over 15 years of observation by Japanese radio astronomy project Vera. Notice Released Thursday from the National Observatory in Japan. The VLBI exploration of radio astrometry is very small, and refers to the mission of telescopes using very long baseline interferometry to explore the three-dimensional structure of the Milky Way.

Because Earth is located within the Milky Way, it is difficult to go back and see what the galaxy looks like. To overcome this, project astronomy accurately measures the position and motion of objects to understand the overall structure of the Milky Way and the position of the Earth in it.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of black holes that revealed the darkest secrets of the universe
The black hole, also known as Sagittarius A * or SGRA *, is 4.2 million times larger than our Sun. The Milky Way and its vast gravitational field control the orbits of stars in the center of the Milky Way. Reinhard Jensel and Andrea Guess won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics For its discovery. There are many types of black holes, which scientists believe may be supermassively related to the formation of galaxies because they often exist at the center of giant galaxies – but it is still unclear how or what they first formed.

A more precise approach

In August, Vera published its first catalog, which contained data on 99 celestial objects. Based on this catalog and recent observations from other groups, astronomers have developed a position and speed map. From this map, scientists have been able to calculate the center of the galaxy, and everything revolves around it.

The star merger created the rare Blue Ring Nebula

Vera integrates data from four radio telescopes across Japan. When combined, astronomers can also find an American penny placed on the lunar surface in theory that telescopes could achieve a resolution.

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Clearly, that does not mean the Earth is falling into a black hole, the observatory said. On the contrary, the map more accurately identifies the location of the solar system.

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