Research report 2012 - Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

A gas cloud on its way towards the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre

Gillessen, Stefan; Genzel, Reinhard; Eisenhauer, Frank; Fritz, Tobias; Pfuhl, Oliver; Ott, Thomas; Schartmann, Marc; Alig, Christian; Burkert, Andreas
Infrarot-Astronomie (Reinhard Genzel)
The black hole at the the centre of the Milky Way is – given its size – surprisingly quiet, because it is accreting only a small amount of matter currently. This may change in 2013 since a gas cloud is approaching it almost directly. In autumn 2013, the cloud will get too close to survive this fly by. The tidal forces as well as the atmosphere of the black hole will act on the gas cloud. If these interactions sufficiently slow down the gas, it can be accreted. We then may observe the „feeding“ of the black hole.

For the full text, see the German version.

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