Scientists have seen lion, tigers, bears and some of nature’s most ferocious creatures hunt and devour their prey. But a black hole eating a snack? That is something much more rare, which makes 2014 an extra special year in black hole science. A massive, gaseous object called G2 is making a close pass around Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers think some of the gas from G2 will fall onto Sagittarius A*, and give them a front-row seat to a black hole feeding. Listen to this week’s podcast to hear some of many things astronomers hope to learn when the falling matter from G2 meets its dark fate.
[Edit: There is an error in the podcast: Sagittarius A* is 4 million times the mass of our sun, not 4 trillion.]