Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Into the heart of darkness

The Milky Way, like other galaxies, is thought to harbour a black hole at its centre. The remarkable observation of a star in close orbit around the Galactic Centre is the first firm evidence that this is so.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Journey to the centre of the Galaxy.



  1. Schödel, R. et al. Nature 419, 694–696 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Lissauer, J. J. Nature 419, 355–358 (2002).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Richstone, D. et al. Nature 395 (suppl.), A14–A19 (1998).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Gebhardt, K., Rich, R. M. & Ho, L. C. Astrophys. J. 578, L41–L45 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Gerssen, J. et al. Astron. J. (in the press).

  6. Maoz, E. Astrophys. J. 494, L181–L184 (1998).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Wizinowich, P. et al. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacif. 112, 315–319 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Rubilar, G. F. & Eckart, A. Astron. Astrophys. 374, 95–104 (2001).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Quataert, E., Narayan, R. & Reid, M. J. Astrophys. J. 517, L101–L104 (1999).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Ghez, A. et al. Nature 407, 349–351 (2000).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Kormendy, J. & Gebhardt, K. in 20th Texas Symp. Relativistic Astrophysics (eds Martel, H. & Wheeler, J. C.) 363–381 (Am. Inst. Phys., College Park, Maryland, 2001).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karl Gebhardt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gebhardt, K. Into the heart of darkness. Nature 419, 675–676 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing