|The monster at the center of our Galaxy is about to get
Recent observations by the
Very Large Telescopes indicate that a
cloud of gas will venture too close to the
supermassive black hole at the Galactic center.
The gas cloud is being disrupted, stretched out, heated up, and
some of it is expected to fall into the
black hole over the next two years.
artist's illustration, what remains of the blob after
a close pass to the black hole is shown in red and yellow,
arching out from the gravitational
death trap to its right.
The cloud's orbit is shown in red, while the
orbits of central stars are shown in blue.
The infalling nebula is estimated to contain
several times the mass of our Earth, while the
central black hole,
thought to correspond to the radio source
Sagittariaus A*, contains
about four million times the mass of our Sun.
Once it falls in, nothing is expected
to be heard from the doomed gas ever again.