"Black holes, the ultradense collapsed objects predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, are often depicted as voracious feeders whose extraordinary gravity acts like a one-way membrane: Everything is sucked in, even light, and virtually nothing leaks out.
Now, for the first time, astronomers may have a chance to watch as a giant black hole consumes a cosmic snack.
In March or April, a gas cloud that has been hurtling toward the center of the Milky Way is expected to collide with Sagittarius A*, a black hole that lies just 26,000 light-years from Earth. (The actual event, of course, took place 26,000 years ago.)" (NY Times, It’s Snack Time in the Cosmos)
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“The experience is as exciting for astronomers as it is for parents taking the first photos of their infant eating.”
AVI LOEB, a theoretical astrophysicist at Harvard, on the prospect of observing a black hole devour a gas cloud.
NY TImes, Feb. 18, 2014 Quote of the Day: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/pageoneplus/quotation-of-the-day-for-tuesday-february-18-2014.html
See simulation: http://www.mpe.mpg.de/resources/pgn/g2/data/gcm_with_title.mpg