posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 03:55 PM
Originally posted by TheJourney
Can't edit OP now. Let me clarify something: I specifically want to know if we are getting CLOSER to the center of the galaxy, not how close or how
fast we are advancing. So I don't mean 'are we getting close,' but rather are we getting closer. It seems as though the answer may be unknown. I
hypothesize that we are, because it makes sense for my own reasons. Sounds like we may not know one way or the other at this point, though.
have been observing the stars orbiting the black hole Sgr A* at the center of the Milky Way for something like 20 years now, and have observed the
doppler shifts can determine when those stars are moving relatively closer to or relatively further from the Earth. I think if we were moving closer
to the center of the milky way at any significant rate, we would observe this in the doppler shifts of those orbiting stars. But even estimating the
distance to Sgr A* is somewhat imprecise, with a margin of error of perhaps 5% or so, therefore measuring small changes in this distance is
But I'm not sure what reason you have for saying "I hypothesize that we are, because it makes sense for my own reasons." We know that the orbit of
the Earth around the sun is relatively stable, but very slowly the Earth has been moving away from the sun, and I see no reason why our solar
system's orbit around the galactic center couldn't be very slightly increasing, rather than decreasing, for similar reasons (less mass at the center
of the orbit, due to mass being converted to energy in stellar fusion). I think if you really did some digging on this, you would find we could put
limits on how much the distance could be increasing or decreasing, so we can probably say the change is smaller than those limits, but within those
limits, we probably don't know exactly, as you suggest.