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Images of gas cloud being ripped apart by the black hole at the centre of the galaxy

These observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, using the SINFONI instrument, show how a gas cloud is being stretched and ripped apart as it passes close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. 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 during the last ten years. The cloud is now (2013) dramatically stretched out and the velocity of the front is several million km/h different from that of the tail.

Credit:

ESO/S. Gillessen

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About the Image

Id:eso1332e
Type:Observation
Release date:17 July 2013, 12:00
Related releases:eso1332
Size:4557 x 750 px

About the Object

Name:Milky Way, Milky Way Galactic Centre, Sgr A*
Type:• Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
• X - Quasars & Black Holes
Distance:25000 light years

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Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Infrared
Hydrogen Bracket gamma
Very Large Telescope
SINFONI

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