News & AnalysisAstronomy

Worldwide Telescope Aims to Look Into Milky Way Galaxy's Black Heart

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Science  27 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6067, pp. 391
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6067.391

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The center of our galaxy—surrounded by a maelstrom of stars, gas, and dust, and separated from us by 26,000 light-years of space filled with all the detritus of the galactic plane—is one of the most challenging things for astronomers to observe. Last week, astronomers gathered in Tucson, Arizona, to work out a plan to combine data from radio telescopes worldwide and create, in effect, a dish the size of Earth. With such a virtual instrument, they say, they'll be able to peer into our galaxy's heart and see the supermassive black hole that resides there.