Scientists have been able to confirm what they assumed! There’s a super huge black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, the galaxy we inhabit. Thanks to the GRAVITY instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s aptly named “Very Large Telescope” which helped the scientists in confirming their assumption.
According to a statement from ESO, a “consortium” of scientists from multiple European institutions observed flares of radiation coming from Sagittarius A*, the massive object at the centre of our galaxy. Scientists have long assumed that Sagittarius A* was a black hole, but this confirms it.
As Astronomy reported, scientists needed to examine objects traveling close to Sagittarius A* in order to verify that it was certainly a black hole. When a star called S2 orbited deep into Sagittarius A*’s gravity well, they observed three flares traveling at 30 percent of the speed of light.
Oliver Pfuhl, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics explained that we were closely monitoring S2, and of course we always keep an eye on Sagittarius A*. During our observations, we were fortunate enough to detect three bright flares from around the black hole — it was a lucky concurrence!
Oliver further added that it’s mind-boggling to in fact see material orbiting a massive black hole at 30% of the speed of light.
“GRAVITY’s incredible sensitivity has allowed us to monitor the accumulation processes in real time in unique aspect.”
Reinhard Genzel, also of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, led the study. He called the result a “resounding confirmation”. “This always was one of our dream projects,” he said, “but we did not dare to hope that it would become possible so soon.”