This time the extra baggage allowance means that I can take my tripod and other gadgets which will enable me to hopefully take some more serious imagery of our milky way on an evening.
I find it curious that I am more interested in what lies beneath our oceans or way above our heads out in the universe than what surrounds me every day.
Then some asshole reminds me.
And so to the scientific bit, Sir geek of geeksville in the county of geekalot will now enlighten those of you who are wondering what the hell I am on about.
The Galactic Centre is the rotational centre of the Milky Way galaxy. It is located at a distance of 8.33±0.35 kpc (~27,000±1,000 ly) from the Earth in the direction of the constellations Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, and Scorpius where the Milky Way appears brightest.
There is strong evidence that supports the existence of a super massive black hole at the Galactic Centre of the Milky Way.
The complex astronomical radio source Sagittarius A appears to be located almost exactly at the Galactic Centre (approx. 18 hrs, -29 deg), and contains an intense compact radio source, Sagittarius A*, which coincides with a super massive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy. Accretion of gas onto the black hole, probably involving a disk around it, would release energy to power the radio source, itself much larger than the black hole. The latter is too small to see with present instruments and with my failing eyesight I don't stand a chance.
A study in 2008 which linked radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona and California measured the diameter of Sagittarius A* to be 44 million kilometres. For comparison, the radius of Earth's orbit around the Sun is about 150 million kilometres (1.0 AU), while the distance of Mercury from the Sun at closest approach is 46 million kilometres (0.3 AU). Thus the diameter of the radio source is slightly less than the distance from Mercury to the Sun.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany using Chilean telescopes have confirmed the existence of a super massive black hole at the Galactic Centre, on the order of 4 million solar masses.
Astronomers anticipate an increase of activity in the region of the black hole, giving opportunity for further study, in mid-2013, as it is expected that a large gas cloud will be disrupted by close approach.
I am hoping on my upcoming trip to be able to get some pretty dark skies in the middle of the Indian Ocean and am therefore hopeful that I will be able to get some nice pretty photographs of the centre of the Milky Way. The fact that I will be closer to the equator than I am in Sunny Sheffield will mean I am able to view more of this wonderful view.
Peace out yall, THE BAGSTAXXX