I can find only bits and pieces about this exciting news. The gas cloud termed "G2" is making it's way toward the galactic center.
What does this all mean?
What EXACTLY is G2?
(artist impression ~ESO/MPE/M.SCHARTMANN)
From a paper written/drafted in March of this year, written by Astrophysicist's Nick Scoville and Andi Burkett, we can read the following:
The recently discovered G2 cloud which is infalling toward SgrA∗ is a most intriguing astronomical discovery (Gillessen et al. 2012) – both
its origin and nature are unclear as yet
I have read from different papers, different things. One paper I read spoke about the cloud being detected in the late 90's. Either way, they have
been following this cloud (??) for a few years, at the least.
The paper goes on to say..
At this point it is unclear if the cloud will survive pericenter passage and whether the activity of SgrA∗will increase and over what
Some say it may harbor a young star or a want to be planet/planet in the making.
Here we explore a diﬀerent scenario – G2 being a young low mass TTauri star, formed in the young stellar ring and subsequently injected into
the eccentric orbit. Many TTauri stars have mass-loss winds at 200 - 500 km s−1with M˙ ∼ 1 − 5 × 10−8M⊙ yr−1 during their ﬁrst million
Some researchers suggest the "recently-spotted" gas cloud is a planet-forming disk of matter.
Modelling work by Ruth Murray-Clay and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggests that
planets can form within the powerful gravitational field of a giant black hole. And it heightens expectations about what astronomers might learn as
the cloud nears the galaxy’s biggest black hole — an event expected to cause a spectacular light show that could begin as early as next year. The
model is published today in Nature Communications1
What about it's orbit?
Seems there is an "Orbit problem".
Orbit problem The simulated gas cloud matches key features of the observed cloud, Murray-Clay and Loeb report. However, they calculate that there
is only a 0.1% chance that a recently dislodged star would have the same orbit as the gas cloud. This small percentage “is the main theoretical
problem” with the model, says Stefan Gillessen at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physicsin Garching, Germany, a member of the team
behind the cloud's discovery. The duo's model predicts that the gas cloud should have a dense core, which would be revealed by an increase in
brightness as the cloud ventures closer to the black hole, Loeb notes. If the model is confirmed, it would suggest that young, low-mass stars that
remained in the ring have disks stable enough to forge planets. Regardless of the cloud’s origin, it could take decades for the whole of it to
plunge into the black hole. Material could start falling onto a swirling accretion disk surrounding the black hole by the end of 2013 and continue for
20–40 years, says astronomer Andreas Burkert of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, another member of the cloud-discovery team.
And infalling gas must still make its way from the accretion disk to the black hole itself before most of the fireworks begin, he
Of course, I have questions... many, "what if's" begin to take hold and the pondering begins.
What if there is more than one star and or planet accompanying/orbiting this dust? As far as I have researched it, current data does not exclude these
Now... I am NOT WORRIED or freaking out... but I do question even more certain possibilities and or scenarios.
What if it excites the core so much the energy coming from it would be so great it would endanger life as we know it... somehow...someway....
sometime? Is that even possible? What about a gravity wave? Any kind of wave and or energy?
Gamma Ray bursts and or major cosmic rays coming from such a system could ( I think) reach us within months... but I am not sure about that. This is
why I want it up for discussion here on ATS.
We do not have evidence of a "black hole" per say (could be a huge star for all I know) and we have never witnessed anything at our core such as
this (have we?). Either way.. black holes are said to graze and not gobble so the likely hood of this system or cloud will be ripped apart.
“So far there were only two stars that came that close to Sagittarius A*,” Gillessen said. “They passed unharmed, but this time will be
different: the gas cloud will be completely ripped apart by the tidal forces of the black hole.” Read more:
Also, on May14th a Magnetar was witnessed by Astronomer Dale Frail. Because of all the excitement in regards to G2 he caught a massive flare coming
from the Galactic center.
The magnetar’s accidental discovery is a by-product of astronomers’ excitement about the arrival of the gas cloud, dubbed G2. The cloud, which
is about three times the mass of Earth, was first spotted near Sgr A* in 2012 (and was later found in 2002 data). Its arrival would deliver insight
into how objects accrete into the swirling disk of material around a black hole, as well as offering the first chance for astronomers to measure the
time that it takes for objects to be captured and swallowed up. Every flicker of emissions from Sgr A* sparks a flurry of speculation, intensifying
the usual cycle of observation and coordinated follow-up that characterizes high-energy astronomy. Many telescope directors are scheduling additional
monitoring of the Galactic Centre. The VLA, for example, is already scanning radio frequencies around Sgr A* every two months, and will do so every
month once G2 arrives.
Could G2 be pushing objects as it makes its way? Is that possible?
Thank you for allowing me to bring this information to discuss and also for taking the time to read.