This map suggests that the center of the Milky Way and the black hole that sits there are 25,800 light-years from Earth. According to the National Observatory for Japan, the value of the 27,700 light-years accepted by the International Astronomical Union in 1985 is very close to the official value.
What’s more, our solar system orbits the center of the galaxy at a speed of 227 kilometers per second – which is faster than the actual value of 220 kilometers per second.
These updated values are the result of over 15 years of observation by Japanese radio astronomy project Vera. Notice ReleasedThursday from the National Observatory in Japan. The VLBI exploration of radio astrometry is very small, and refers to the mission of telescopes using very long baseline interferometry to explore the three-dimensional structure of the Milky Way.
Because Earth is located within the Milky Way, it is difficult to go back and see what the galaxy looks like. To overcome this, project astronomy accurately measures the position and motion of objects to understand the overall structure of the Milky Way and the position of the Earth in it.
The black hole, also known as Sagittarius A * or SGRA *, is 4.2 million times larger than our Sun. The Milky Way and its vast gravitational field control the orbits of stars in the center of the Milky Way. Reinhard Jensel and Andrea Guess won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics For its discovery. There are many types of black holes, which scientists believe may be supermassively related to the formation of galaxies because they often exist at the center of giant galaxies – but it is still unclear how or what they first formed.
A more precise approach
In August, Vera published its first catalog, which contained data on 99 celestial objects. Based on this catalog and recent observations from other groups, astronomers have developed a position and speed map. From this map, scientists have been able to calculate the center of the galaxy, and everything revolves around it.
Vera integrates data from four radio telescopes across Japan. When combined, astronomers can also find an American penny placed on the lunar surface in theory that telescopes could achieve a resolution.
Clearly, that does not mean the Earth is falling into a black hole, the observatory said. On the contrary, the map more accurately identifies the location of the solar system.
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Gigantic predatory marine worms that lived about 20 million years ago ambushed their prey by leaping at them from underground tunnels in the sea bottom, new fossils from Taiwan reveal.
These monster worms may have been ancestors of trap-jawed modern Bobbit worms (Eunice aphroditois), which also hide in burrows under the ocean floor and can grow to be 10 feet (3 meters) long. Based on fossil evidence from Taiwan, the ancient worms’ burrows were L-shaped and measured about 7 feet (2 m) long and 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 to 3 centimeters) in diameter, researchers recently reported in a new study.
The soft bodies of such ancient worms are rarely preserved in the fossil record. But scientists found fossilized imprints, also known as trace fossils, left behind by the worms; some of these marks were likely made as they dragged prey to their doom. The researchers collected hundreds of these impressions to reconstruct the worm’s tunnel, the earliest known trace fossil of an ambush predator, according to the study.
Bobbit worms are polychaetes, or bristle worms, which have been around since the early Cambrian period (about 543 million to 490 million years ago), and their hunting habits were swift and “spectacular,” the scientists wrote. Modern Bobbit worms build long tunnels to accommodate their bodies; they hide inside and then lunge out to snap prey between their jaws, hauling the struggling creature into the subterranean lair for eating. This “terror from below” grasps and pierces its prey with sharp pincers — sometimes slicing them in half — then injects toxins to make prey easier to digest, according to Smithsonian Ocean.
Researchers examined 319 fossilized tunnel traces in northeastern Taiwan; from these traces, they reconstructed long, narrow burrows that resembled those made by long-bodied modern Bobbit worms. And preserved details in the rock further hinted at how ancient predatory worms might have used these lairs, according to the study.
“We hypothesize that about 20 million years ago, at the southeastern border of the Eurasian continent, ancient Bobbit worms colonized the seafloor waiting in ambush for a passing meal,” the study authors reported. Worms “exploded” from their burrows when prey came close, “grabbing and dragging the prey down into the sediment. Beneath the seafloor, the desperate prey floundered to escape, leading to further disturbance of the sediment around the burrow opening,” the scientists wrote.
As the ancient worms retreated deeper into their tunnel with the thrashing prey, the struggle agitated the sediment, forming “distinct feather-like collapse structures” that were preserved in the trace fossils. The researchers also detected iron-rich pockets in disturbed areas near the tops of the tunnels; these likely appeared after worms reinforced the damaged walls with layers of sticky mucus.
Though no fossilized remains of the worms were found, the scientists identified a new genus and species, Pennichnus formosae, to describe the ancient animals, based on their burrows’ distinctive forms.
The likely behavior that created the tunnels “records a life and death struggle between predator and prey, and indirectly preserves evidence of [a] more diverse and robust paleo-ecosystem than can be interpreted from the fossil and trace fossil record alone,” the study authors reported.
Depending on where they live, some Canadians can now sign up for Starlink’s satellite internet service.
Starlink, the new high-speed internet service provided by Elon Musk’s U.S.-based SpaceX firm, recently expanded its first public testing stage to Canada in these coordinates:
49.0 – 51.5
48.4 – 51.7
49.0 – 51.1
45.3 – 47.6
45.0 – 46.0
43.1 – 51.0
49.6 – 50.7
But as Tesla North reported with notes from a Reddit thread, the updated Starlink registration website now asks users for their exact location as part of the invite process. Users within certain zones can sign up immediately. Currently, users in the following areas have seen the most success:
44.52; 45.3; 44.1; 43.1
Once approved, the eligible users can purchase the necessary Starlink hardware, which includes a satellite dish. The Satellite dish costs CA$649, and the service is CA$129 per month.
In a CBC article, some Starlink subscribers have reported service speeds of up to 150Mbps.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) granted Starlink’s operator, SpaceX, a Basic International Telecommunications Service (BITS) license in October 2020. The license allows SpaceX to provide telecommunication services in Canada but does not allow it to operate as an internet service provider within the issuing nation.
Starlink says it aims to establish a global network by using a massive constellation of satellites. The satellites float at low earth orbit, which both cuts down on signal latency and can more easily return to earth once they’re decommissioned. But stargazers are worried that the massive amount of satellites could obscure the view of the night sky.
The company has expressed a keen interest in providing internet service to rural and underserved areas in Canada and the United States. It’s currently extending beta testing offers in Canada, U.S. and U.K.
Starlink says it has launched 955 satellites so far.
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