Monitoring the Tidal Disruption of the Gas Cloud G2 As It Encounters Sgr A*

Project: Research project

Project Details


A dense, cold cloud (G2) is on a collision course with Sgr A*, the radio source at our Galactic Center. G2 is on an eccentric orbit and shows signs of tidal disruption by the black hole. High-energy emission from the Sgr A*/G2 encounter will likely peak at pericenter and continue over the next several years as the material circularizes. We propose 9 ACIS-S monitoring observations (5 simultaneous with VLA) to study the radiation properties of Sgr A* as G2 breaks up and feeds the accretion flow, to constrain the rates and emission mechanisms of faint X-ray flares, and to detect G2 itself as it is shocked and heated. Multiwavelength observations of this encounter will have a profound impact on our understanding of inefficient accretion flows into, and outflow from, massive black holes.
Effective start/end date3/15/148/31/14


  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (GO4-15091A // NAS8-03060)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (GO4-15091A // NAS8-03060)


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