Title Feeding the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way; AST/RO observations
Author Martin, C.L.
Author Affil Martin, C.L., Oberlin College, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Oberlin, OH
Source p.369-372, ; Smithsonian at the poles, Washington, DC, May 3-4, 2007, edited by I. Krupnik, M.A. Lang and S.E. Miller. Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC, United States. ISBN: 978-0-9788460-1-50-9788460-1- X
Publication Date 2009
Notes In English. NSF Grant ANT-0126090. 19 refs. Ant. Acc. No: 86101. CRREL Acc. No: 63004413
Index Terms cold weather construction; instruments; logistics; Antarctica--Antarctic Platform; Antarctica--South Pole; Antarctic Platform; Antarctica; International Polar Year 2007-08; IPY 2007-08 Research Publications; observations; South Pole; telescopes
Abstract Feeling a bit hungry? Imagine that you only received one meal every few million years and that when you ate it, it was a gigantic Thanksgiving feast. That sort of gorging might give you quite a stomach ache! The black hole at the center of our galaxy seems to go through just this cycle of feast and famine, but as the turkey dinner arrives, it bursts into a tremendous display of fireworks. Instead of turkey, a black hole eats a vast platter of dust and gas that is compressed and stressed as it reaches the inner part of the galaxy. This compression causes the formation of a plethora of large short-lived stars that go supernova shortly after their birth. These supernova fireworks would then be sufficiently intense to make the center of the galaxy one of the brightest objects in our night sky while at the same time sterilizing any life that might be nearby. How does this matter get to the center of the galaxy and when can we expect the next burst of fireworks? At this very moment the dinner plate for the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is being assembled, and a group of astronomers from the South Pole is looking at the menu. Dinner will be served in about 10 million years.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10088/6816
Publication Type monograph
Record ID 292155