Sagitarius A*: Van Gogh in the Milky Way

The colour scale in the image shows the amount of infrared (heat) radiation coming from warm dust particles in the filaments and luminous stars within a light year of the Galactic centre. The position of the black hole is indicated by an asterisk. The lines trace the magnetic field directions and reveal the complex interactions between the stars and the dusty filaments, and the impact that they and the gravitational force has on them. The observations were made with the largest telescope in Europe, which allowed details of the fine structure in the magnetic fields to be revealed for the first time.
- E. Lopez-Rodriguez / NASA Ames / University of Texas at San Antonio
A paper published on the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society describes tha detailed mapping of the magnetic field around Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. A researchers' team used the infrared camera CanariCam instaled on the Great Canary Telescope to obtain the data needed to reproduce the magnetic lines of gas and dusts that orbit around the center of the galaxy. The colors chosen by the researchers to visualize the structure of the magnetic lines give the result a style that recalls Vincent Van Gogh's paintings.
P F Roche, E Lopez-Rodriguez, CM Telesco, R Schödel, C Packham; The Magnetic Field in the central parsec of the Galaxy, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, sty129, 10.1093/mnras/sty129

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