Cosmic Tour: The Galactic Center

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Deep in the heart of our galaxy—27,000 light-years away—lies the densest and most massive star cluster in the Milky Way.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Sonoma State University

  • Image of the Lagoon Nebula: courtesy of NASA, ESA, STScI
  • Zoom-in to the Lagoon Nebula with 3D visualization courtesy of NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon, D. Player, J. DePasquale, F. Summers, and Z. Levay (STScI); A. Fujii, the Digitized Sky Survey, ESO/VPHAS, and R. Crisp
  • Written by Margaret Carruthers
  • Designed by 
  • Music courtesy of Associated Production Music

Text, Cosmic Tour, The Center of the Milky Way Galaxy
Deep in the heart of our galaxy - 27,000 light years away - lies the densest and most massive star cluster in the Milky Way.
The region is packed with stars; its density is the equivalent of a million suns crammed into the volume of space between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri.
In the center of the Galaxy is Sagittarius A star, a supermassive black hole four million times the mass of the sun.
Blue lines connect stars. Scorpius, Corona Australis, Teapot. Text, Ground-based image (A. Fujiti) visible light
Digitized Sky Survey, visible light
Spitzer Space Telescope, infrared light
Hubble Space Telescope, infrared light