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Star Party - San Antonio de Areco 

Which way is the galactic center?

Unfortunately you have to know the sky a bit, to find your way. Fundamentally the constellations of    Scorpius and Sagitarius-

Many times people ask which direction is the center of our galaxy, and although it is not directly visible,    there is a supermassive black hole right there..

Nothing can be seen using conventional telescopes, since interstellar dust and gas clouds  completely block the light coming from the galaxy nucleus.

On the stellar chart above, an arrow indicates the galaxy center, along with stellar clusters (M6 & M7) and  nebulae (M20 & M8).

Antares is a bright start that can be taken as a reference; reddish in color, it represents the heart of Scorpius, the scorpion. Then, follow a series of stars that form the shape of a big question mark or "tail" of Scorpius. At the end of it, open clusters M7 and M6 can be located. A little further, towards Sagittarius, you can spot M8 (Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (Trifid Nebula).

Map with fainter stars from the same area. Galaxy center is marked by a circle.

The map above is for the southern hemisphere, but it can easily be rotated to match what is seen from any point on Earth and on any date.

In that direction, 27 thousand light-years away, is our galactic center. You have to travel at least another 50 thousand years at the speed of light to reach the other side of the Milky Way .... (77000 light years from the Sun).

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