from the reconnoiter-the-dark-matter dept.
"This has been going on for some time and the date of closest approach keeps getting pushed back. Here is the latest report from the New York Times on the approach of a gas cloud called G2 towards the Galactic Center.
Black holes, which are the ultra-dense, 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, the gas cloud G2, which 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 away from Earth."