Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the Galaxy

2015, Science  -  31 min Leave a Comment
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The mysteries that lie within the center of the Milky Way serves as the basis for enticing documentary. This breathtaking swirl composed of gas, dust, and billions of stars has remained largely elusive throughout history, but its secrets may hold the key to understanding much of what remains unknown about our universe.

The film opens by tracing the historical discoveries which have led to our present-day understanding of the Milky Way. That history began in the 1930s when American physicist Karl Jansky identified the Milky Way as a source of radio static for Bell Telephone Industries. More than three decades later, acclaimed astronomer Eric Becklin helped to construct infrared technology which allowed his team to peer through the clouds of dust particles to uncover the center of the Milky Way.

In the 1990s, aided by highly advanced telescopic technologies, two groups of astronomers formed observational stations in different parts of the globe in order to further understand the contents and activities that lay at the center of the galaxy. Becklin was stationed in Hawaii, while astronomer Reinhart Jensen studied from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany. The speed with which objects swarmed and circled around this galactic center led to the possibility of a supermassive black hole, a theory further supported by the awe-inspiring imagery captured by the Hubble telescope.

Featuring insightful footage of these renowned scientists at work and a wealth of gorgeous space photography and animations, this film follows the continuing journey for knowledge that was set in motion by Jansky all those years ago. Their quest is occasionally thwarted by the limitations of current technology, a challenge they overcome with impressive cooperation and ingenuity. For them, many mysteries remain. What accounts for the formation of this black hole, and for the immense power which permits it to illuminate our galaxy? With little doubt, Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the Galaxy affirms that their continued efforts will provide an even greater understanding of these mysteries in the not so distant future.