Dust Cloud Collides With Black Hole

Photo courtesy to scitechdaily.com

Photo courtesy to scitechdaily.com

Sagittarius A, a super massive black hole, lives at the center of the Milky Way, and since 2011, astronomers have been waiting to see it swallow up a gas cloud, a parcel of debris three times as massive as the Earth.

When astronomers first found the cloud, it was already being stretched and squashed as it succumbed to the black hole’s mighty gravitational pull. Since then, reports Nature, a team of researchers headed by Stefan Gillensen have been tracking the cloud (known as G2) as it flies 5 million miles per hour toward its potential death— an interaction which should play out in the next month or so, reported www.smithsonianmag.com.

By observing this galactic snack fest, astronomers should be able to figure out what’s going on in the black hole’s immediate vicinity and potentially even witness some gas disappear into the massive object’s maw. What they see may help scientists solve a decades-old puzzle about why our galaxy’s central black hole is so quiet, reported www.wired.com.

Astronomers are gearing up to watch this show using many different telescopes with different wavelengths of light to capture all the information they can. But they are still unsure what exactly they will see, stated www.wired.co.uk.