Sunday, July 12, 2015

located the centre of the galaxy

Iosif asked me where the centre of the galaxy was and if we could look at it and see the stars and the black hole there.

I said I thought the centre of the galaxy was roughly between Sagittarius and Scorpius. And that meant this was certainly a good time in the year to view it.

I offered to display it in software. I recalled seeing something in SkyTools 3 Pro but I couldn't (at the time) find a setting. I didn't think TheSky 6 had a marker feature for it. Or was I getting confused by the north galactic and south galactic pole options? Regardless, I turned on the galactic coordinate grid in ST3P and then heading to 0, 0. Near RA 17 45 37 by Dec -28 56 19. I placed a Skymark on the Interactive chart.

He was anxious to look there.

I emphasised that there would be very little, specifically, to look at. The field would appear as stars. But, to be clear, this would be nearby stars, maybe a thousand or few thousand light years away. We'd never be able, from Earth, visually, be able to see inside the core for all the dense dust and gas. It required infrared and other special, alternate bandwidth instruments to punch through.

Also we'd never be able to visually see a black hole even if close.

That part of the sky was still very interesting though: open clusters, diffuse and reflection nebulae, planetaries, beyond the regular 'ole Messiers, and lots and lots of dark nebulae!

Certainly one could point their camera to the region. It would become abundantly obvious that between us and the centre of the Milky Way was a great deal of stuff! "Star stuff..."

In the end, it was a thought experiment. Like facing a particular direction on the ground, and saying, my home town is 200 kilometres "that way."


Later in the week end, I stumbled across the SkyTools setting: from the Interactive Atlas, View Controls button, Labels tab, Other Labels group, and the Reference Points toggle.

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