Super massive black hole at Milky Way to eat gas cloud bigger than the Earth (Video)

By on Dec 15, 2011 in Astronomy, Europe, Science, World Comments

The super massive black hole in our Milky Way galaxy will be eating a gas cloud three times bigger than the Earth in the coming years, as shown in the news video below.

Simulation of how a gas cloud is approaching the
super massive black hole at Milky Way galaxy

Image Credit: ESO/MPE

As noted at on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, astronomers said that the massive black hole located at the heart of our Milky Way will torn the huge gas cloud in the middle of 2013.

According to the report, which was also published at Nature journal that day, Europe’s Very Large Telescope captured a view of the gigantic cloud that is being pulled at the speed of almost 5,000,000 mph.

The massive black hole, named Sagittarius A* (“A-star”), which contains about 4.3 million times the mass of the sun, is being believed to provide a rare glimpse once it collided with the huge cloud of gas.

“It is by no means easy to feed a black hole — if you were to throw something into its direction and you miss it a bit, the object would just swing by the black hole, like a spacecraft does when it passes a planet,” Stefan Gillessen, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, was quoted on the report.

“The object can only fall in if you point very precisely towards the black hole and hit it, or if during the swing-by the object loses energy and decelerates such that it falls in.” Gillessen, who is also the lead author of the study, added.

“We can hope to understand how material is distributed around the black hole and thus test theoretical pictures of the emission of Sagittarius A*, which results from the material in the black hole’s surroundings,” Gillessen further explained, noting that the cloud has grown dramatically as it moves closer to the massive black hole.

Astronomers also predict that X-ray emissions from the gas cloud will become significantly brighter as it approaches the massive black hole and could release a giant radiation flare within the coming years.

Report on massive black hole at Milky Way being approached by a gas cloud
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