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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the reconnoiter-the-dark-matter dept.

weeds writes:

"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."

 
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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by ragequit on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:42PM

    by ragequit (44) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:42PM (#2582) Journal

    I was rather under the impression that relativistic effects would prevent us from ever seeing anything.... Or am I just stoopid?

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by acid andy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:49PM

    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:49PM (#2593) Homepage Journal

    I was rather under the impression that relativistic effects would prevent us from ever seeing anything.... Or am I just stoopid?

    Those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, you know!

    Ah! If they were, you'd have said "Xor am I just stoopid?", I see.

    --
    Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
  • (Score: 1) by pe1rxq on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:50PM

    by pe1rxq (844) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:50PM (#2595) Homepage

    You can't look inside the event horizon, but this will give some nice special effects just outside of it.
    As for your second question: I don't know, maybe ;)

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by stormwyrm on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:48AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:48AM (#3139) Journal

    Well, matter falling into the black hole gets compressed and heated by its gravity as it falls toward the event horizon. The radiation thus produced goes in all directions, some toward the event horizon, never to be seen again, some away from it, and we get to see some of that.

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