Thursday, December 15, 2011

Milky Way's Central Super Massive Black Hole Will Soon Start Feeding Again

I had been hearing rumors of this, but this has to be one of the first times I have seen it in black and white saying this IS going to happen.

What am I blathering on about? Well over at Sagittarius A, better known as the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, things are quite literally heating up. It seems a huge cloud of gas is about to be drawn past the event horizon and down the infinite gravity hole that is the singularity.

Why is this important you say? Black holes by their very nature, swallow things up all the time! Aye but there be the rub....Sagittarius A has been very very quiet for a very very long time. Present day astro scientists for that matter have never directly seen any activity from that area, going instead on the movement of speeding stars around an area hardly larger than the orbital area of Uranus.

Astronomers of late however have detected brightening in the area where Sagittarius A resides, indicating that matter is being heated to millions of degrees.

From the Berkley site:
By 2013, scientists should see outbursts of X-rays and radio waves as the cloud – composed mostly hydrogen and helium gas – gets hotter and is torn asunder. The light emitted around the black hole could increase by a hundredfold to a thousandfold

Graphic: Images taken between 2002 and 2011 by ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the gas cloud falling toward the Milky Way’s central, supermassive black hole. Courtesy of ESO/MPE.

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