Ed Yong recently started a fun new Tumblr blog called Nature Wants To Eat You, showing pictures of scary-looking animal mouths that may or may not be out to gobble us up. But the scariest and most inescapable example of Nature Wanting To Eat Us is the stuff of astrophysics – in the way that astrophysics tends to kill all the sciences, really: black holes. This week, a team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching posted their Nature paper to astro-ph, describing their observations of a cloud of gas speeding towards the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.
Like with many of these results, the coolest thing isn’t that this is happening. Imagine the size of the Universe: everything you can possibly think of is probably happening right now, somewhere. The mindblowing thing is that we can see it, 27,000 lightyears away, just like you’re probably now watching Strictly Come Dancing or Match of the Day – and believe me, this gas blob is far more exciting.