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Successful first observations of galactic centre with GRAVITY instrument

23 June 2016 Astronomy Now

A European team of astronomers have used the new GRAVITY instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope to obtain exciting observations of the centre of the Milky Way by combining light from all four of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes for the first time. These results provide a taste of the groundbreaking science that GRAVITY will produce as it tests Einstein’s general relativity.

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Signs of second-largest black hole in the Milky Way

17 January 2016 Astronomy Now

A team of astronomers has found an enigmatic gas cloud, called CO-0.40-0.22, only 200 light-years away from the centre of the Milky Way. The cloud contains gas with a very wide range of speeds. The so-called velocity dispersion is best explained by the gravitational attraction of an intermediate mass black hole. If that is the case, then this is the first detection of such a body.

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Pulsar with black hole could hold the ‘holy grail’ of gravity

6 December 2014 Astronomy Now

The intermittent light emitted by a pulsar allows scientists to verify Einstein’s theory of relativity, especially when paired up with another neutron star that interferes with its gravity. According to researchers from Spain and India, this theory could be analysed much more effectively if a pulsar with a black hole were found.