Stars in the Center of the Milky Way

ucla_rgb05jullgs July 16, 2010

Image Source:

This infrared image shows the star cluster at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. At the center of the field is the location of a supermassive black hole (not visible). While some of the brighter stars are in the foreground, many of the faint ones seen here are 27,000 light years away at the galaxy's center

Some of the stars around the central black hole orbit so quickly that their motions can be seen from year to year. Their fast orbits are a consequence of the immense gravity of the black hole, which is about 4 billion times stronger than that of the Sun.

View Options

Image Details

Image Type
Object Name
Galactic Center Sgr A*
Subject - Milky Way
Galaxy » Component » Center/Core
Galaxy » Component » Central Black Hole


27,000 light years

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Keck Infrared (H-band) 1.8 µm
Arrow_left_green Keck Infrared (K-band) 2.2 µm
Arrow_left_red Keck Infrared (L-band) 3.8 µm