Falling Into a Black Hole
A gas cloud named G2 is about to collide with Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. A simulation shows how the cloud might be stretched and torn apart.
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.