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Supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way

The supermassive black hole lurking at the heart of the Milky Way – Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* for short – contains about 4.3 million solar masses, and, as it turns out, nearly all of the mass at the very center of the galaxy.

An international team of astronomers, using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, measured the position and velocity of four stars in the immediate neighbourhood of Sgr A* and found them to be moving in the manner one would expect if the black hole accounted for 99.9 percent of the matter at the center of the Milky Way.

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