Simulation of gas cloud after close approach to the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

This view shows a simulation of how a gas cloud that has been observed approaching the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy may break apart over the next few years. This is the first time ever that the approach of such a doomed cloud to a supermassive black hole has been observed and it is expected to break up completely during 2013. The remains of the gas cloud are shown in red and yellow, with the cloud's orbit marked in red. The stars orbiting the black hole are also shown along with blue lines marking their orbits. This view simulates the expected positions of the stars and gas cloud in the year 2021.


ESO/MPE/Marc Schartmann

About the Image

Release date:14 December 2011, 19:00
Related releases:eso1151
Related announcements:ann11083
Size:4000 x 2250 px

About the Object

Name:Sgr A*
Type:• Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
• X - Illustrations
• X - Quasars & Black Holes
Distance:25000 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.0 MB
Screensize JPEG
185.4 KB



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757.1 KB
1.1 MB


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