Planet Earth travels at 227 km / s and is closer to a black hole

Madrid Spain /

An improvement in the Milky Way observation model it places Earth seven kilometers faster and about 2,000 light years closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy.

Those refined data correspond to new data, including a catalog of objects observed for more than 15 years by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA.

VERA – VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) radioastrometry exploration – began in 2000 to map three-dimensional velocity and spatial structures in the Milky Way. VERA uses a technique known as interferometry to combine data from radio telescopes scattered throughout the Japanese archipelago. in order to achieve the same resolution that a 2,300-kilometer-diameter telescope would have.

The measurement precision achieved with this resolution, 10 microseconds of arc, is what sharp enough in theory to resolve an American penny placed on the surface of the Moon, reports the NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) in a statement.


Because Earth is located inside the Milky Way, we cannot step back and see what the galaxy looks like from the outside. Astrometry, accurate measurement of the positions and movements of objects, it is a vital tool for understanding the overall structure of the galaxy and our place in it. This year, the First VERA Astrometry Catalog was published containing data from 99 objects.

Based on the VERA Catalog of Astrometry and recent observations from other groups, astronomers constructed a map of position and velocity. From this map they calculated the center of the galaxy, the point around which everything rotates.

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The map suggests that the center of the galaxy and the supermassive black hole that resides there lie within 25,800 light years from Earth. This is closer than the official value of 27,700 light years adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1985. The velocity component of the map indicates that the Earth is traveling at 227 kilometers per second as it orbits the Galactic Center. This is faster than the official value of 220 km / s.


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