Astronomers from the European Space Agency's Gaia mission will release the biggest map of our galaxy ever tomorrow, using data collected by the Gaia space telescope. That includes 1.7 billion stars, as well as new information that could potentially solve some cosmic mysteries.
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There's a black hole called Sagittarius A* at the centre of our galaxy. It has four million times the mass of the sun, but is only around the size of Mercury's orbit. It's 26,000 light years away, but let's say some unfortunate mishap brought you within a light year or two of that behemoth. What would happen?
Count up all the stuff in a galaxy and you should have a pretty good understanding of how much light is being emitted. But that doesn't seem to be the case for our own Milky Way. Our galaxy has a source of extra gamma rays, the highest-energy light, right in its centre. And scientists don't know where all that energy's coming from.