Sagittarius and the center of our Milky Way galaxy by Robert Huerbsch
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Robert Huerbsch's picture

Sagittarius and the center of our Milky Way galaxy

August 30, 2019

Lots to look at pointing nearly at the center of our galaxy. Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy is just below the bright Lagoon Nebula and to the left of the Pipe Nebula aka Dark Horse.

This image was captured from the darkest spot on mainland Florida using a Canon 6Da + Tamron 70-200 G2 on a SkyGuider Pro.

Stack: 7 x 30s at iso1600
Calibrated with darks, bias and flats using Astro Pixel Processor.

Canon 6Da
70mm · f/3.5 · 210 · ISO 1600
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3 Comments

Kevin McLin's picture

This is a great image. I love the detail in the dust clouds. You have caught all the feathery wisps, which I always find amazing to look at.

I have to take exception to your caption though. The MW central black hole does not hold the galaxy together. It's "only" about 4 million solar masses. The galaxy is hundreds of billions of solar masses - at least - so the black hole barely registers. Most of the galaxy cannot even feel its presence. To get a feel for why this is the case, use Newton's law of gravitation to compute the gravitational acceleration the Sun feels from the black hole, and then use it to compute the acceleration the Sun feels from Earth. The later is about ten million times larger. And mind you, that is the gravity produced by a puny planet, but that puny planet is much, much, MUCH closer. The black holes in the centers of galaxies have no effect whatsoever on the global galactic dynamics, but if you venture too close to one of them, you're screwed.

I'm heading up to the Sierra this weekend to try to take advantage of the New Moon dark skies and get some good photos. We'll see.

Robert Huerbsch's picture

Thanks and clear skies!

Florida is about to get hammered by the hurricane... won’t see the blue sky again for a long time : (

What are you planning to image?

Kevin McLin's picture

I'll image the southern Milky Way and some polar star trails, for sure. Other than that I'll see how it goes. Maybe Orion, assuming I want to stay up that late, or get up that early.

Be safe in the storm. I've only been through one of those, Gloria in NYC in 1986. I was on the Upper West Side. We only got grazed, and it still took down a bunch of trees in Riverside Park and blew the camera I was holding out of my hand (and into my chest, so I caught it) while I was standing on the roof of the physics building - Pupin Hall - at Columbia. Maybe standing on the roof of a 14 story building during a hurricane was not the cleverest thing to do, even if we were only on the edge of the storm.