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Friday, December 2, 2011: Two large coronal mass ejections (CMEs) occurred during November 12-14, 2011, as observed by STEREO Ahead spacecraft's coronagraph. A halo CME event took place first, during which the leading edge of the particle cloud expanded in an arc around the sun. The cloud headed towards the Ahead spacecraft. In the second, larger event the bright cloud headed out into space and away from Earth. The coronagraph's black disk blocks out the sun, represented by the white circle

Black hole devouring cloud of gas! Astronomers have found a cloud of gas and dust around a young star being devoured by the giant black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. The supermassive black hole thought to lurk at the center of the Milky Way is named Sagittarius A*. Scientists estimate it is about 4.3 million times the mass of the sun.

entaurus A, also known as NGC 5128, is an active lenticular galaxy about 11 million light years distant from Earth in the Centaurus constellation. It contains young blue star clusters, huge gas clouds and dark dust lanes. At the centre of all the activity in Centaurus A are what appears to be disks of matter being sucked into a super massive black hole which has a mass a billion times that of the Sun.

Where Tomorrows Stars Will Be BornCredit: ESOThe center of the Milky Way harbors a supermassive black hole more than four million times the mass of our sun, about 25,000 light-years from Earth. Sagittarius B2 (Sgr B2) is one of the largest clouds of molecular gas in the Milky Way, shown here as the bright orange-red region at left and center (submillimeter-wavelength ATLASGAL data). This composite image includes infrared data (green and blue) from the Midcourse Space Experiment

NGC 6240: Gigantic Hot Gas Cloud Sheaths Colliding Galaxies: Looking almost like a cosmic hyacinth, It’s a portrait of an enormous gas cloud radiating at more than seven million degrees Kelvin and enveloping two merging spiral galaxies. This combined image glows in purple from the Chandra X-ray information and is embellished with optical sets from the Hubble Space Telescope. It flows across 300,000 light years of space and contains the mass of ten billion Suns.

The monster at the center of our Galaxy is about to get fed. Recent observations by the Very Large Telescopes indicate that a cloud of gas will venture too close to the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center. The gas cloud is being disrupted, stretched out, heated up, and some of it is expected to fall into the black hole over the next two years.

from WIRED

Space Photo of the Day 2013

This giant gas cloud, which scientists call a halo, is located in the system called NGC 6240

Quasars: Brightest Objects in the Universe | This artist's concept illustrates a quasar, or feeding black hole, similar to APM 08279+5255, where astronomers discovered huge amounts of water vapor. Gas and dust likely form a torus around the central black hole, with clouds of charged gas above and below. CREDIT: NASA/ESA

Black holes are gigantic cosmic monsters, exotic objects whose gravity is so strong that not even light can escape their clutches. This is an artist's conception of a black hole in front of the Large Magellanic Cloud.