Milky Way’s black hole devouring asteroids

X-ray flares from the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way may be caused by the regular vaporisation of large asteroids, according to astronomers at the University of Leicester in the UK and University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Scientists previously doubted asteroids could form in the forbidding environment around the black hole, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), but the new study suggests the black hole is in fact surrounded by a cloud containing trillions of asteroids and comets stripped from their parent stars. The flares are produced by larger asteroids heating up and glowing as they are vaporised.

Read more at University of Leicester and University of Amsterdam