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Researchers are watching the first scenes of a cosmic show that's expected to heat up over the next year as a giant gas cloud approaches the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.
The impending collision was the subject of a research paper published in Nature last December, and now the European Research Media Center is providing an update: By mid-2013, the cloud is expected to pass in the vicinity of the black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, at a distance of 36 light-hours, or less than 25 billion miles (40 billion kilometers).
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory say the speed of the cloud's progress has nearly doubled over the past seven years, to more than 5 million mph (8 million kilometers per hour). They report that the cloud's edges are already beginning to shred. During the months to come, it should break up into elongated filaments. "It will look like spaghetti," Gillessen said.
The cloud is also expected to get much hotter, and will probably start emitting X-rays.
Originally posted by paperface
Lets hope we do not get sucked in to it..