Black Holes and the Center of Galaxies
We live in the Milky Way Galaxy. Most of us are familiar with the idea that within this galaxy, we live in our own solar system – the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, etc. However, our galaxy is much larger than our own solar system. In fact, did you know that a black hole is likely at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy ?
Scientists are beginning to accept the notion that our galaxy has a black hole at the center. The thought that a black hole is at the center of our own galaxy is not an isolated concept – it is becoming more and more widely accepted that black holes exist at the center of all galaxies.
While it may seem as though determining whether or not a black hole lies in the center of a galaxy is simple, observing it as well as proving it is actually an extremely complicated matter. The best supporting evidence for it is currently established through the study of the motion of stars. A simple way to imagine this is to think about the orbit a star would have. In the same way our planet would orbit the sun, stars would orbit other objects based on their gravitational pull. The mass an object has determines its gravitational pull; objects with a large mass have a gravitational pull quite different than those with a smaller mass. Using advanced mathematics and observation techniques, it can be determined that the motion of stars in a given galaxy respond to gravitational forces of an object in the center of such galaxy that would only come from objects with an extremely large mass. Since the gravitational effects observed fit the characteristics of those that would come from a black hole, this is the most widely accepted explanation.