The Milky Way’s black hole is causing a mess, but isn’t gobbling matter as fast as was thought
One of the most complex and intriguing astrophysical phenomenon is the supermassive black hole. A superdense cluster of mass, the supermassive black hole gobbles up surrounding matter, sucking it into its gravity well. Despite the tremendous importance of these celestial bodies to the structure of our universe, scientists still remain confused about specifics of how they operate.
Supermassive black holes help to shape our universe, but their behavior is still poorly understood
. (Source: PureInsight.org)
It is a well known fact that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Dubbed Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the black hole is rather weak, due to its inability to successfully capture significant mass. The black hole is bordered by dozens of young stars. It pulls gas off these stars, but is only able to suck in a small percentage of this high velocity stream.
Past estimates put its consumption rate at a mere 1 percent of the gas it pulls away from the stars. Now a new study, using data garnered from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, has determined that the black hole is likely eating far less than that figure even — new models indicate it to be consuming a mere 0.01 percent of the gas it sucks off.