ESOcast 39: A Black Hole’s Dinner is Fast Approaching

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered a gas cloud with several times the mass of the Earth accelerating towards the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. This is the first time ever that the approach of such a doomed cloud to a supermassive black hole has been observed. This ESOcast explains the new results and includes spectacular simulations of how the cloud will break up over the next few years.

More episodes of the ESOcast are also available.

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Visual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser and Luis Calçada.
Editing: Herbert Zodet.
Web and technical support: Lars Holm Nielsen and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Mathieu Isidro and Richard Hook.
Narration: Gaitee Hussain.
Music: zero-project ( and movetwo.
Footage and photos: ESO, MPE/M. Schartmann, MPE/Nick Risinger ( Emerson/Digitized Sky Survey 2, Luis Calçada, Stéphane Guisard (,
José Francisco Salgado (
Directed by: Richard Hook and Herbert Zodet.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.


 ESOcast HD (High Definition - 1280 x 720)
 ESOcast SD (Standard Definition - 640 x 480)

 ESOcast HD (High Definition) in iTunes
 ESOcast SD (Standard Definition) in iTunes

About the Video

Release date:14 December 2011, 19:00
Related releases:eso1151
Related announcements:ann11083
Duration:05m 17s

About the Object

Type:• X - Quasars & Black Holes
• X - ESOcast



Large QT
73.2 MB


Video Podcast
57.4 MB
Medium MPEG-1
133.6 MB
Medium Flash
58.6 MB


Small Flash
26.2 MB
Small QT
18.3 MB

For Broadcasters

Broadcast SD
1.6 GB


170.5 KB

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