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Stellar Orbits in the Central Parsec
A 2.2 micron animation of the stellar orbits in the central parsec. Images taken from the years 1995 through 2011 are used to track specific stars orbiting the proposed black hole at the center of the Galaxy. These orbits, and a simple application of Kepler's Laws, provide the best evidence yet for a supermassive black hole, which has a mass of 4 million times the mass of the Sun. Especially important are the stars S0-2, which has an orbital period of only 15.78 years, and S0-16, which comes a mere 90 astronomical units from the black hole.