Focusing in on the Galactic Center – Dr. Mark Morris

(January 25, 2011)  Three of the most massive star clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy are found near the Galaxy’s center and their formation dynamics produce a startling display of pyrotechnics.  Alongside these young compact star groups, the Galactic Center also harbors the Milky Way’s massive black hole putting forth many fascinating mysteries; for one, how can stars form so close to the hostile environment of a supermassive black hole.  UCLA Professor Mark Morris will present current research findings from observations made with the Keck telescopes and their adaptive optics systems to resolve these complex questions of the cosmos.

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UH observers will use MOSFIRE on Keck 1, and UCSC/UCLA observers will use ESI on Keck 2 tonight. Sun set 06:53:00pm rise 05:46:00am
Keck 1 target of opportunity! Detected the afterglow of a rare short-duration gamma ray burst. Extragalactic explosion, caught in the act.
Does this monster have exotic populations of stars at its center? We'll investigate with LRIS tonight. (3/3)
Special target for Keck 1: NGC 4889 is one of the brightest galaxies known and hosts the largest supermassive black hole ever detected (2/3)
Tonight on Keck 1: looking for low-mass stars in high-mass galaxies with LRIS. (1/2)