Stars and Gas Orbiting the Massive Black Hole

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI (for details, see Image Use Policy).

About this Image

Our Milky Way, like many other galaxies, harbors a massive black hole at its center that greatly influences the evolution of the nearby stars and gas. This image of the Milky Way's central region combines data over a wide range of wavelengths and include radio images from the NRAO Very Large Array (green) and BIMA (red) as well as an infrared image from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope (blue). The red, green and blue colors represent, respectively, the cold gas, warm gas, and stars that are orbiting the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, SgrA*. Note the three-armed appearance of the ionized gas in the radio image that is superimposed on the distribution of the much colder molecular HCN emission.

Investigator(s):  F. Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern University), M. C. H. Wright (UC Berkeley) and S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center)

Alternate Resolutions Help

This image is available in the following downloadable versions:If you would like to obtain a higher resolution version of this image, please contact us.

For More Information

Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Band K 
    Wavelength 1.2 cm 
    Frequency 22 GHz 
    Center of Image RA: 17:45:40.00, Dec: -20:00:28.00  
    Field of View 0.0333 x 0.0333 degrees  

  • Astronomical database entries for SgrA
    • Query SIMBAD for more SgrA data


To search the Image Gallery for other images of SgrA, click the Submit button.
Object Name Show Results As:

To search the Image Gallery for similar images, click the Submit button.
Category Sub-Category Telescope Mode Show Results As:

For more search options, please use our Advanced Search form.