Milky Way Moves

Researchers led by Andrea Ghez, an astrophysicist at UCLA, used telescope images taken from 1995 though 2006 to create this animation showing the movement of select stars at the center of the Milky Way. The orbits of these stars, and calculations made using Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, provide the best evidence yet for the existence of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Of particular note are star S0-2, which orbits the black hole once every 15.56 years, and star S0-16, which comes within 90 astronomical units (the distance from the earth to the sun) of the black hole (0:11)