According to the new map of the Milky Way Galaxy, Earth is inching closer to our Galaxy’s supermassive Black Hole. The Solar System is orbiting at a faster clip and is now closer to the galactic centre – than expected, thus making Earth 2,000 light-years closer to supermassive black hole.
The Milky Way Galaxy map by Japanese space experts suggests that the center of the Milky Way, and the black hole which sits there, is located 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 National Observatory of Japan said. As per the official announcement by the National Observatory of Japan, these updated values are a result of more than 15 years of observations by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA. VERA is the acronym used for VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry and refers to the mission’s array of telescopes, which outs in practice Very Long Baseline Interferometry to reconnoitre the three-dimensional structure of the Milky Way.
The announcement also stated, “Earth just got 7 km/s faster and about 2000 light-years closer to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that our planet is plunging towards the black hole. Instead, the changes are results of a better model of the Milky Way Galaxy based on new observation data, including a catalogue of objects observed for more than 15 years.”
It is worth noting that in 1985, the International Astronomical Union announced that Earth was 27,700 light-years away from the black hole – Sagittarius A*. However, after the project VERA analysis, it is now being said that the Earth is only 25,800 light-years away. They also found that Earth is moving 7 km/s faster than they previously believed.
The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan cleared all doubts and said that there is no need to panic or worry. This is because the latest data does explicate that the planet is “plunging towards the black hole.” But, it only suggests that now there is a “better model of the Milky Way galaxy.” In a press statement, it said, “Because Earth is located inside the Milky Way Galaxy; we can’t step back and see what the Galaxy looks like from the outside. Astrometry, accurate measurement of the positions and motions of objects, is a vital tool to understand the overall structure of the Galaxy and our place in it.”
Stay tuned to this space for more updates!