Milky Way Black Hole Snacks on Hot Gas

The Herschel space observatory has made detailed observations of surprisingly hot gas that may be orbiting or falling towards the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

Our galaxy’s black hole is located in a region known as Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* for short, which is a nearby source of radio waves. The black hole has a mass about four million times that of our sun and lies roughly 26,000 light-years away from our solar system.

This story is an extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Mathematical Models: Black Holes. To access this featured lesson, visit the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus.

To read more about the observations, visit NASA’s Herschel Space Observatory Web page.

NASA Now: STS-134 – The Search for Antimatter

NASA Now logoIn this episode of NASA Now, Trent Martin, project manager for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment at Johnson Space Center in Houston, explains how NASA will try to answer one of the fundamental questions in modern physics: “What happened to the primordial antimatter?”
Students will learn what problem scientists hope to solve with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a space-based particle detector, but also why basic research is important to modern physics and all fields of science.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NASA Now Minute: STS-134 – The Search For Antimatter