Asked by Shaun Davies
Even if we were able to send a spacecraft into a position to take a bird’s-eye picture of our galaxy, we still wouldn’t be able to see its black hole.
Sagittarius A* is a very bright and compact radio source. It is believed to be a supermassive black hole – something we think is at the centre of most galaxies. By definition we can only ever indirectly view a black hole as no visible light is emitted from them – only wavelengths, which are invisible to the human eye such as those in radio and X-ray wavelengths. On top of this, a spacecraft would have to travel an unimaginable distance above the Milky Way to give us a bird’s-eye view. So, for now, we are only able to peer through the dust at the centre of our host galaxy with today’s telescopes.
Answered by Josh Barker from the National Space Centre
Got a question for us? Send it into [email protected] and you could see it featured in All About Space – available every month for just £3.99. Alternatively you can subscribe here for a fraction of the price!