New research at the black hole in the Milkyway center reveals unexpected details.
Astronomers have discovered with a network of coupled telescopes, for the first time also ALMA, that the radio waves from the black hole in the center of the Milky Way (Sagittarius A *) come from a smaller area than previously thought. Possibly a jet from Sgr A * points in our direction. The paper, led by the Nijmegen PhD student Sara Issaoun, is published today in Astrophysical Journal.
A cloud of hot gas extracted the super-heavy black hole so far from sight so that few details were known about Sgr A *. Astronomers have now succeeded in looking through the 'fog' with a network of radio telescopes. With this technique, called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and yielding a virtual telescope the size of the earth, we have succeeded in mapping out the exact properties of light scattering. The removal of most scattering effects has provided an image of the environment of the black hole.