New structures near the compact radio source at the Galactic Centre

Farhad Yusef-Zadeh*, M. Morris, R. D. Ekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

SIXTEEN years ago, Balick and Brown1 found a bright compact radio source, Sgr A*, at the Galactic Centre, as had been predicted by Lynden-Bell and Rees2. The characteristics of its emission and the kinematics of gas near it have been used to argue for the presence of a black hole of 500-5 x 106 solar masses at the Galactic Centre3-5. Here we present high-resolution (<0.2 arcsec) radio images, made at 2-cm wavelength, of the central arcsecond of the Galaxy. Sgr A* is surrounded by at least four satellite radio features. Interpreted as thermally emitting blobs of plasma, they have typical sizes <1,700 AU and are within a projected distance of 3,500 AU from Sgr A*. Another set of larger radio features, 2-4 arcsec from Sgr A*, shows a regular progression of galactocentric distance with position angle. The placement and appearance of all these structures lead us to suggest that they are physically associated with Sgr A*; if so, they can be used as probes of the immediate vicinity of the possible massive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-47
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume348
Issue number6296
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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