Our Black Hole Lights Up

The cloud of gas and dust venturing toward the center of our galaxy will be stretched and shredded by our local black hole.

The shadowy area around the supermassive black hole in our galaxy’s center may light up this year, as it shreds G2 — an interloper that is either a cloud of gas and dust or a star cocooned in such a cloud — which ventured too close. Black holes are virtually invisible unless they’re actively destroying something.

Our black hole’s violent meeting with G2 began last year, and as it continues, it should give astronomers a chance to peer inside the galactic center — the neighborhood around the black hole — rather than just simulate the swirling disc of gas and dust surrounding it.


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