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At the Center of Our Galaxy: Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed | High Sierra Backpacker

At the Center of Our Galaxy: Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 06 June 2019


Massive Gas Cloud Rotating Around Sag A*

Matter Itself Observed Falling into Sag A*



At the Center of Our Galaxy

Star Orbits Our Black Hole at 2.7% of Light Speed
(4971 Miles Per Second)

GRAVITY confirms predictions of general relativity,
CNRS, July 30, 2018.


"Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* Black Hole) sits at the centre of our galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth. This black hole, which has a mass 4 million times that of the sun, is surrounded by a star cluster - the S stars - which reach mind-boggling speeds when they approach the hole."

Sagittarius A* Within its Star Cluster
Sagittarius A* and its star cluster
Credit, Copyright by Paris Observatory / LESIA

"...to follow one particular star in the Sgr A* system - S2 - before and after it passed close to the black hole on 19 May 2018. GRAVITY achieved a resolution of 50 microarcseconds: the angle at which a tennis ball placed on the moon would be visible from Earth."

"When S2 passed by Sgr A* at a distance just 120 times that of the Earth from the Sun, it reached an orbital velocity of 8000 km/s: 2.7 % of the speed of light. These extreme conditions suffice for the S2 star to be subjected to the effects of general relativity."

"...detect the gravitational redshift which Einstein predicted. Redshift affects light sources that are in a gravitational field; in this case, the black hole. The phenomenon produces a shift in wavelength toward the red part of the spectrum which is detected by a measuring instrument. This is the first time the effect has been measured in the gravitational field of a black hole."


Bottom Line

Redshifting is an effect of acceleration or gravity.

Redshift is typically used to calculate interstellar distances to supernova, as the amount of redshifting of these known intensity light sources is a function of the expansion of the universe between observer and supernova, giving us its distance, if our figure for the expansion of the Universe is both correct and constant. In any case, the redshift we measure to a distant supernova represents how fast we are accelerating away from each other.

Focusing The Nature of Reality: Hubble Telescope Sharpens Hubble Constant

In this case of the star almost getting sucked into our Black Hole, I'd think the redshifting was a function of the light relatively, "deaccelerating," within the heavy gravity field of the Black Hole, gravity which would also have the effect of slowing down how the star itself was experiencing time, as well. Cool!

Mass Acceleration -controlling- Time Deacceleration
Interesting thought. As the star itself was accelerating under the draw of gravity to a significant percentage of the speed of light, this same gravitational field is slowing down time itself on the surface of the star. I believe it would be interesting to use this time differential to study a year in the life of a star, during the few seconds it was radically accelerated around the perimiter of a black hole, and time slowed down on its surface, if we had a magic telescope...

I want a magic telescope for Christmas! I got one, but it's stuck in my head...


Star Chart

Locate Sag A* in the Night Sky

Star Chart: Sag A* @
17h 45m, -29
Just off the spout of the teapot...



A Closer Look

Sgr A* - The Supermassive Black Hole in the Milky Way,
Penn State


Researchers Create Virtual Reality Simulation of a Supermassive Black Hole,
BioMed Central, November 18, 2018.

Journey to the Center of our Galaxy,
Astronomy Picture of the Day, July 29, 2018.

Excellent Video Report
Star’s Superfast Flyby of Black Hole Used To Prove Einstein Right,
ESO, Youtube, July 26, 2018.




The Latest

Black Hole Sag A* 's Gas Cloud
At the Center of our Galaxy, Black Hole Sag A* and its Gas Cloud, NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello.
Artist impression of ring of cool, interstellar gas surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. New ALMA observations reveal this structure for the first time. NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello. Actual ALMA image.


Massive Gas Cloud Rotating Around Sag A*

Cool, Nebulous Ring around Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole,
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, June 5, 2019.

Main Point

"...a never-before-seen disk of cool, interstellar gas wrapped around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way."


First Light

First Image of Black Hole,
NASA, April 20, 2019


How Big is this Thing?

"...1.5 trillion solar masses within a radius of 129 000 light-years from the galactic centre,"
GAIA, March 7, 2019.


Black Hole Accretion Flares Observed

Most Detailed Observations of Material Orbiting close to a Black Hole,
ENSO, October 31, 2018.


"ESO’s GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Interferometer has...observe(d) flares of infrared radiation coming from the accretion disc around Sagittarius A*, the massive object at the heart of the Milky Way."

"The observed flares provide long-awaited confirmation that the object in the centre of our galaxy is, as has long been assumed, a supermassive black hole. The flares originate from material orbiting very close to the black hole’s event horizon — making these the most detailed observations yet of material orbiting this close to a black hole."



The Milky Way's supermassive black hole (Sagittarius A*) swallowing matter

Sag A* Orbital Objects


Yet More

Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole,
Quanta, October 30, 2018.



Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

Looking into the Center of our Galaxy, and Far Beyond...







Fireworks as Black Hole Eats a Star



Very Interesting Analysis

At the center of our Galaxy, a supermassive Black Hole with a Swirling Swarm of Hundreds of Smaller Holes?



Black Hole Links


Astro-Physics News



July 2017 High Sierra General News





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star's light redshifted by black hole it's circling at the center of our galaxy


Originally PUblished
2018-07-31 15:56:32

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