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Astronomers Pinpoint Black Hole at Center of the Milky Way

September 21, 2000

Astronomers have pinpointed with unprecedented accuracy an immense black hole with a mass of more than 2 million suns at the center of the spiral of stars that is the Milky Way galaxy. Researchers at UCLA, led by Andrea Ghez, used the Keck telescope in Hawaii to measure tiny differences in the orbits of stars around the estimated center of the galaxy, near a point called Sagittarius A. The UCLA team used the infrared images of three stars to measure their acceleration and triangulate their center of rotation. They report in today's Nature that Sagittarius A is, in fact, the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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