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Earth is in close proximity to a supermassive black hole and is traveling at a speed 16,000 mph faster.

Even if you think that our planet is going through hard times already, it turns out that our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy than we had imagined. Scientists have made significant advances in the modeling of the Milky Way Galaxy because of the new data, which tells us that we are getting closer to the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* by 2,000 light years and at a speed of 7 km/s (~16,000 mph).

The data which was more recent and accurate came from 15 years of data which was collected by VERA project, a Japanese radio astronomy project. VERA is a three lettered word which stands for Very Long Baseline Interferometry and VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry. The project began in the year 2000 and the aim now is to map the Milky Way’s three-dimensional velocity as well as its spatial structures.

Using interferometry, VERA gathers and unites information from radio telescopes positioned all over the Japanese archipelago. Thus, this method enables the project to acquire the astounding resolution, almost as good as a telescope with a 2,300 km diameter. A penny from the US that was dropped on the Moon by accident would be so clearly measurable at this very property that we would be able to spot it at the exact resolution of 10 micro-arcseconds.

The astronomers created a position and velocity map of the Galaxy with the new center by using the data recently collected by other researchers and the VERA Astrometry Catalog. The whole galaxy is directed around this center.

The 224 objects that were used to model the Milky Way Galaxy have their position and velocity data indicated by arrows on this map. The Galaxy’s spiral arms are indicated by the solid black lines. Groups of objects that belong to the same arm are reflected by color, and a simulation image serves as the background.

The current map states that this center, as well as the supermassive black hole in it, is located 25,800 light-years away from Earth. This is unquestionably much nearer than the 27,700 light-years that the International Astronomical Union established as the official distance in 1985.

The motion of the planet was also shown by the new map’s velocity component, which pointed out that it is the Galactic Center. The speed of the orbit is 227 km/s. The 220 km/s that was the former “official” speed is now 7 km/s faster.

On the other hand, VERA concentrates on other objects, majorly those that are close to the supermassive black hole situated at the center of the galaxy.

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