GALACTIC CENTER GROUP’S MISSION

Transforming our understanding of Black Holes and their role in the Universe with high resolution observations of the Center of our Galaxy!

SCIENCE

Discover the properties and effects of a black hole, one of the most mysterious, and yet, fundamental objects in the Universe.

TECHNOLOGY

Advancing the next generation instrumentation & telescopes in support of research of the Galactic Center and Black Hole science.

EDUCATION & OUTREACH

Inspiring the public, training the next generation of scientists, and breaking gender barriers through Galactic Center Group's discoveries and collaborations.

Top: Relativity demonstration - Image Credit - Undestanding Science - UC Berkley. Middle: Prof. Andrea Ghez with first generation instument at Keck Observatory. Bottom: Prof. Eric Becklin gives an interview to channel 7 news.

Key Elements

  • Testing Einstein's theory of General Relativity in an unexplored regime.
    By tracking stellar orbits in our Galaxy's central gravitational potential we can measure the difference between the Newtonian and the relativistic motion, an opportunity that has never before occured.

  • Understanding the role of black holes in the formation and evolution of galaxies. All evidence of galactic studies has shown that most galaxies have a central black hole, which seems to indicate that black holes has an important role in the evolution of a galaxy. By studying our own black hole and its environment, we will develop in-depth knowledge of what occurs in all other galaxies.

  • Driving the design and development of next generation Adaptive Optics systems. High resolution imaging is the key to new discoveries in astronomy, and the Galactic Center Group has been and will continue to be at the forefront to test new optics technologies. The Galactic Center Group has benefited tremendously from the advancement of Adaptive Optics (AO) and the instruments necessary for its optimal function on the W. M. Keck Observatory.

  • Educating next generation of researchers and bringing the research to the public. As part of a research university, the Galactic Center Group provides opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers to be involved in the cutting edge research not only in astronomy and physics, but also in the development of AO and instrumentation. The Galactic Center Group members also disseminate the research and make it available to the general population via various outlets including public talks, tv & radio interviews, articles in popular science magazines, and outreach programs in schools.