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Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Bummer: Milky Way’s Black Hole Fails to Eat Gas Cloud

Astronomers have long anticipated this "feeding event" between the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and a nearby cloud of gas named G2.

Surprisingly, the gas cloud wasn't obliterated by the black hole but instead has transformed into a star, Phys Org reports.

The supermassive black hole in our own galaxy wasn't able to "eat its snack," according to scientists watching the cosmic event. Astronomers began observing the space event in 2004, making it one of the most popular among scientists.

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"[It] was one of the most watched events in astronomy in my career," said UCLA astrophysicist Andrea Ghez.

Because G2 wasn't eaten by the black hole named "Sagittarius A," Ghez thinks the gas cloud is not a cloud at all but a "hidden star."

Ghez and his colleagues observed G2 was still compact until last August, which means the space element has a bound body. Just recently, astronomers said "G2 survived and continues happily on its orbit."

The ability to not be eaten by a huge black hole isn't an attribute of a gas cloud.

"A gas cloud would not do that," Ghez reiterated.

On the other hand, another astronomer said the chance of a hidden star inside a gas cloud is very rare. Stefan Gillessen of the Max Plank Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics argued the central feature of a star, "in some sense, is that you see the photosphere."

Because of G2's thick gas cloud, astronomers and other researchers are unable to see starlight in the gas cloud. Despite this observation, Ghez remained firm in his belief G2 isn't a gas cloud but a star.

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