“Worlds in Collision” – Reawakening Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

 blobs of gas roughly the mass of Jupiter at Milky Way's Black Hole


“Beautiful as it is, our Universe is constantly evolving, often through violent events like the Milky Way’s forthcoming collision with the Large Magellanic Cloud,” said Carlos Frenk, Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at the University of Durham. “Barring any disasters, like a major disturbance to the Solar System, our descendants, if any, are in for a treat: a spectacular display of cosmic fireworks as the newly awakened supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, reacts by emitting jets of extremely bright energetic radiation.”


“A Future Monster?” Magnetic Field Mutes Milky Way’s Black Hole



“The spiral shape of the magnetic field channels the gas into an orbit around the black hole,” said Darren Dowell, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, principal investigator for the HAWC+ instrument, and lead author of the study about Milky Way’s central black hole. “This could explain why our black hole is quiet while others are active.”


“Milky Way’s Collision” –Our Solar System May Be Hurled Into Interstellar Space

Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole


“While two billion years is an extremely long time compared to a human lifetime, it is a very short time on cosmic timescales,” said astrophysicist Marius Cautun, with Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology. “The destruction of the Large Magellanic Cloud, as it is devoured by the Milky Way, will wreak havoc with our galaxy, waking up the black hole that lives at its center and turning our galaxy into an ‘active galactic nucleus’ or quasar.”