Keck Observatory Donor Salon: A Stretching Gas Cloud and Other Dusty Objects That Orbit Close to the Galactic Black Hole

Rancy Campbell

Guest Speaker:

Randy Campbell

Keck Observatory Observing Support Manager

W.M. Keck Observatory

The Supermassive Black Hole (SBH) at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a dense cluster of stars embedded in a complex structure of gas and dust.  Randy will unveil results from recent studies on the more prominent dust and gas features that include both compact objects that likely have stellar cores, the so called “G-Objects”, and an elongating gas structure called “X7”.  All these features are distinguished by their significant motion and acceleration near the SBH as measured with two Keck Instruments, the integral-field spectrometer OSIRIS, and the direct imager NIRC2. Both instruments use the laser guide star adaptive optics facility that enables studies in unprecedented detail of these features’ evolution over a time span of 20 years.



The staff and management of the W. M. Keck Observatory wish to offer our deepest gratitude to our Astronomy Talk Series sponsors, Rob and Terry Ryan.