It’s Snack Time in the Cosmos

February 18, 2014
It’s Snack Time in the Cosmos

"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:

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