Gas cloud being ripped apart by the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way (annotated)

New observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope show how a gas cloud now passing close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy is being ripped apart. The horizontal axis shows the extent of the cloud along its orbit and the vertical axis shows the velocities of different parts of the cloud. The cloud is now dramatically stretched out and the velocity of the front is several million km/h different from that of the tail.


ESO/S. Gillessen

About the Image

Release date:17 July 2013, 12:00
Related releases:eso1332
Size:1816 x 1638 px

About the Object

Name:Milky Way, Milky Way Galactic Centre, Sgr A*
Type:Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Distance:25000 light years
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
184.5 KB
Screensize JPEG
79.0 KB

Colours & filters

Hydrogen Bracket Gamma
Very Large Telescope