APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby APOD Robot » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:10 am

Image Stars at the Galactic Center

Explanation: The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. A mosaic of many smaller snapshots, the detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars. The galactic center lies some 26,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years.

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby rghoeing@buffalo.edu » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:11 am

Another beautiful image, informative commentary. With the exception of maybe two nights, we've had no stars to look at in Western New York since early November. APOD fills a void for this star-starved gazer. Thanks!

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby starsurfer » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:06 pm

I have always found the Milky Way truly fascinating, mysterious, wonderful and indescribably magical! Something I really want to experience in my lifetime is too actually see it with my eyes in a very dark sky. I love the Milky Way's multitude of clusters and nebulae (especially the planetary nebulae) and just think it is a wonderful place to be.

Does anyone know of an artist's impression that shows all known tidal streams and tails associated with the Milky Way (including the Ophiuchus Stream)?

Also bit of a random question for everyone, if you could have the inside view of planetary nebulae in another galaxy, which one would you choose? I think the planetary nebulae of Centaurus A would be awesome to see from the same internal perspective we see the planetary nebulae of the Milky Way. It would also be nice to have an inside view of the Wolf Rayet nebulae in M33 or M101. It is fantastic that we can see the WR nebulae in the LMC in detail from our perspective.

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby Boomer12k » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:01 pm

Capable of forming new stars....

Still an active region for an active galaxy.... And for a long time to come...

Our home... Fellow Milkywayers....

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby Case » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:22 pm

APOD Robot wrote:The galactic center lies some 26,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this picture spans about 900 light-years.

About two degrees wide, so if I did the composition correctly, this overlay on a more familiair wide field view, should give fair representation. It’s the small patch in the middle.
Image

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:42 pm

Thanks for the wide scale orienteering Case. I was wondering though, does the location of Sgr A* (our galaxy's central SMBH) coincide with the brightest spot in today's APOD?

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Last edited by BDanielMayfield on Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby hoohaw » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:10 pm

Oooh, I feel I'm looking up the skirts of the galaxy! Tut tut!

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby Nitpicker » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:27 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:Thanks for the wide scale orienteering Case. I was wondering though, does the location of Sag A* (our galaxy's central SMBH) coincide with the brightest spot in today's APOD?

Bruce


Yes it does. Confirmation is provided by the following image in the Wikipedia article of Sgr A*:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_A*


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_A*#mediaviewer/File:Pointing_X-ray_Eyes_at_our_Resident_Supermassive_Black_Hole.jpg

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:28 pm

APOD Robot wrote:The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars.

The above "recently found capable" link returns a 404 error.

Let me suggest something hot off the presses so to speak about young stars at our galaxy's heart: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/new-stars-shadow-black-hole-0303201523
This article reports a very recent and surprising finding of young low mass stars within only 2 lightyears of our SMBH :!:

Bruce
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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby geckzilla » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:30 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
APOD Robot wrote:The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars.

The above "recently found capable" link returns a 404 error.

Yeah, but it's very easy to fix the link. Every now and then one of the editors just puts in a space in front by accident which results in some funkyness.
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/news/510 ... tic-Center
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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby BDanielMayfield » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:34 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
BDanielMayfield wrote:Thanks for the wide scale orienteering Case. I was wondering though, does the location of Sgr A* (our galaxy's central SMBH) coincide with the brightest spot in today's APOD?

Bruce

Yes it does. Confirmation is provided by the following image in the Wikipedia article of Sgr A*:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_A*


Thanks Nitpicker. I felt it (the co-incidence of Sgr A* with the bright spot) was likely, but not a sure thing, since as all should know back hole's themselves emit no light.

Bruce
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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby Ann » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:55 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thanks Nitpicker. I felt it (the co-incidence of Sgr A* with the bright spot) was likely, but not a sure thing, since as all should know back hole's themselves emit no light.


But galaxies typically have a very bright small spot in their centers. Since most galaxies also have black holes in their centers, it is likely that the central brightness must be related to the central black hole. For galaxies with active black holes, the brilliant light comes from the accretion disk around the black hole and sometimes from a jet. But in the case of the Milky Way and other galaxies with non-active central black holes, the extra light presumably comes from a very high number of stars orbiting close to the black hole.

Thanks for your link, by the way, Bruce! Very interesting. To me, the most interesting tidbit was this one:

Monica Young at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... 303201523/ wrote:
Last year, another method suggested by Behrang Jalali (University of Cologne, Germany) and colleagues suggested that molecular clouds on highly elongated orbits that pass very close to the black hole would spaghettify, compressing even as they stretch out along the orbit. That compression would in turn trigger star formation inside the clouds. A spaghettified, star-bearing cloud might explain the mystery object G2, which hurtled past Sgr A* last spring, the team proposed.


I like the star forming ability of elongated, spaghettified clouds. I'm sure I read just recently that that massive stars are often formed in elongated clouds. The elongated cloud called the Snake Nebula is indeed a birth site of massive stars. And who knows, low mass stars may form there too. After all, everywhere else (apart from the galactic center) low mass stars form much more easily than high mass ones.

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Re: APOD: Stars at the Galactic Center (2015 Mar 08)

Postby Roberto Capacci » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:39 am

Impressive! :)


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