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Astronomers spot gas cloud approaching black hole
Posted: Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 7:54 AM ET (1254 GMT)
Gas cloud approaching Milky Way black hole (ESO) Astronomers announced this week the discovery of a cloud of gas that will fall into our galaxy's supermassive black hole within the next two years. European astronomers found the gas cloud, about three times the mass of the Earth, rapidly approaching the black hole at the core of our galaxy. The cloud will come within about 40 billion kilometers of the black hole's event horizon by mid-2013, with the black hole's gravity already starting to stretch out and disrupt the cloud. Astronomers said the gas will be the black hole's major "meal" for the next few years because of a lack of other material in the immediate vicinity of the black hole.
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