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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > The Galaxy > Galactic Center

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Back to The Galaxy   |   Back to Astrophysical Direction 

Galactic Center (Nucleus)

Astrologers have become more aware of the existence and position of the Galactic Center (GC or nucleus in recent years thanks to the work of men like Theodor Landscheidt. Landscheidt points out in his seminal book Cosmic Cybernetics that there is an increasing tendency among astrophysicists toward consideration of our entire galaxy as a whole or living organism, capable of self-communication. The galactic nucleus may communicate "information" through electromagnetic gravitational radiation and other yet-undiscovered means.

It is estimated that the core of our galaxy has a million stars per cubic parsec, million times greater star density than in the solar neighborhood. If we lived on a planet circling a star near the galactic nucleus, we could see a million stars as bright as Sirius, and the sky each night would be as bright as 200 full Moons! However, our planet would be ripped out of its orbit every few hundred million years by close encounters with passing stars.

Vast clouds of obscuring dust prevent us from having a very spectacular view each night of the GC -- blaze with light. Most of our information concerning the GC has been obtained through the non-optical regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as the radio, infrared, and x-ray "windows" (which see). While light cannot penetrate the dust clouds, the radio and infrared waves, in effect, flow around the dust particles and on to reach us. The very energetic gamma and x-rays pass right through the intervening dust particles!

There appears to be an energetic flow of matter out from the core, and astronomers have located a ring of expanding particles at about 300 parsecs from the GC that is moving at 100 km/s. Two expanding arms of hydrogen (on either side of GC) at about 3000 parsecs have been found, one moving toward us at a velocity of 50km/s and the other away from us at about 135 km/s. There is some speculation that the nucleus of our galaxy may periodically explode (see Seyfert Galaxies) or that mass may spontaneously appear in the nucleus through some process that is beyond our comprehension at this point in time.

Radio Map of Galactic Center Region

Most radiation from the GC originated in an extended region about 20 across (Figure A). There are several "hot spot " or discrete emission sources located in the nuclear region. The GC appears somewhat different when viewed through the radio spectrum than it does through the x-ray or infrared windows. There is a powerful discrete x-ray source and at least three discrete infrared sources that each radiate a little less than a miIlion times more in the infrared than our Sun does at all wavelengths.

The GC has four ways of emission at radio frequencies:

  • Emission over a broad continuum of wavelengths by energetic electrons held in orbit by a magnetic field (synchroton radiation)
  • 21-cm hydrogen emission (hydrogen atoms whose electrons flip over from a higher to a lower energy state)

  • Similar molecular lines of emission.

  • Both line and continuum emission from H II regions.

Core of Sagittarius A (Radio Map)

The most powerful source of synchroton radiation and the traditional value given for the position of the GC is Sagittarius A which is a source about 12 parsecs in diameter of continuum emission generated by highly energetic electrons spiraling in a magnetic field. Embedded within Sag A and very near the actual center of-the galaxy are several small, bright knots of thermal radio emission about a parsec or less in size (see above). The general region of the galactic nucleus is located at about the 26th degree of Sagittarius in zodiac longitude and -5 degrees of odiac latitude. Every astrologer should be aware of this position.

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine

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