Galactic anticenter

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Depiction of the Auriga constellation.

The galactic anticenter is a theoretical point in the sky that lies directly opposite the center of the Milky Way. Because this point is relative, it will vary depending on the location of the observer; it is not an actual fixed point in space. Most of the time, this term refers to the anticenter from the point of view of an observer on Earth.[1][2][3] Moreover, points within the sky are not confined to a finite area; in other words, two objects in different galaxies can both be in the galactic anticenter as long as they are in the direction opposite of the direction of the galactic center (much like how the stars in a constellation may be completely unrelated despite appearing visually close to each other).

From the perspective of an observer on Earth, the galactic anticenter appears within the constellation Auriga, and Alnath is the closest bright star to this point.

In terms of the galactic coordinate system, the galactic center in Sagittarius corresponds to a longitude of 0°, while the anticenter is located exactly at 180°.[4] In the equatorial coordinate system, the anticenter is found at roughly R.A. 05h 46m, Dec. +28° 56'.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eisenhauer, F.; et al. (2005). "SINFONI in the Galactic Center: Young Stars and Infrared Flares in the Central Light-Month". The Astrophysical Journal 628 (1): 246–259. arXiv:astro-ph/0502129. Bibcode:2005ApJ...628..246E. doi:10.1086/430667. 
  2. ^ Majaess D. J., Turner D. G., Lane D. J. (2009). Characteristics of the Galaxy according to Cepheids, MNRAS
  3. ^ "SINFONI in the Galactic Center: young stars and IR flares in the central light month". arXiv:astro-ph/0502129. Bibcode:2005ApJ...628..246E. doi:10.1086/430667. 
  4. ^ "Galactic Coordinates". Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  5. ^ Galactic Anticenter on the Internet Encyclopedia of Science, retrieved 2009-10-30 

Coordinates: Sky map 5h 45m 40.04s, +29° 00′ 28.1″