Press Release

Early FIndings About Galactic Center to be Presented at Keck Science Meeting September 17

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2004
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New images of the galactic center will be
presented at the 2004 Keck Science Meeting on September 17 at the UCLA
Campus in Los Angeles. The new pictures clearly show hot plasma material
being devoured by a black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, about
24,000 light years away. The findings were made possible by a new laser
guide star system on the Keck II telescope at Mauna Kea which is giving some
of the clearest, highest resolution images ever taken of a region near a
black hole. A wide-field mosaic image of the galactic center and an animated
movie of the plasma flare will be released to the public September 17th.

The Keck Science Meeting is open to members of the California Association
for Research in Astronomy (CARA), California Institute of Technology
(Caltech), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), University
of California, University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, and the
Telescope System Instrumentation Program, which is managed by the National
Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) for the National Science Foundation

Members of the media may attend by contacting the Public Information and
Outreach Office at the W. M. Keck Observatory.

The Keck Science Meeting is an annual gathering of the Keck user community
to discuss scientific discoveries made possible with the world’s two largest
telescopes, the Keck I and Keck II optical and infrared telescopes at Mauna
Kea, Hawaii. Meeting venues alternate between Caltech and UC campuses and
are coordinated by the Observatory’s Science Steering Committee.
Participants include many familiar icons in astronomy, many of which have
been recognized for significant efforts which have shaped the field of
astronomy. A participant list is available at:

The September 17th meeting will consist of several short, 15-minute science
talks followed by poster sessions during breaks. Attendees typically share
works in progress and collaborate on new findings. A Director’s Report will
update the group on new projects and instruments which are improving the
performance and capabilities of the Keck Observatory. The meeting will
conclude with an informal reception called, “Talk to the Director” where
participants will be able to pose questions to the Director, Dr. Frederic
Chaffee. The meeting takes place at Moore Hall on the UCLA Campus, in Los

Deadline for registration is Friday, September 3, 2004. Registrations are
only accepted online at:

The local coordinator for the meeting is Dr. Ian McLean of UCLA, who also
serves as co-chairman of the W. M. Keck Observatory Science Steering
Committee with co-chairman Dr. George Djorgovski of the California Institute
of Technology.

The Keck Science Meeting is sponsored by the University of California, the
California Institute of Technology and the California Association for
Research in Astronomy (CARA).

SpaceRef staff editor.