News of the WeekAstronomy

Probing the Milky Way's Black Heart

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5387, pp. 211-212
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5387.211a

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


At the very center of our galaxy lies an invisible black hole; just outside it, electrons torn from matter falling into the black hole gyrate around magnetic field lines, broadcasting radio waves. By mapping this radio emission with the Very Long Baseline Array, a system of linked telescopes that spans North America, a group of astronomers has found that the emitting region is drastically elongated, suggesting that the black hole is somehow shooting jets of material out of the plane of the galaxy.