The centre of the Milky Way showing a newly discovered and rapidly moving cloud

These images taken over the last decade using the NACO instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope show the motion of a cloud of gas that is falling towards the supermassive 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 and it is expected to break up completely during 2013.



About the Image

Release date:14 December 2011, 19:00
Related releases:eso1151
Size:2507 x 948 px

About the Object

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

Image Formats

Large JPEG
156.3 KB
Screensize JPEG
51.0 KB

Colours & filters

InfraredVery Large Telescope