By Calla Cofield
New observations may finally reveal the identity of a mystery object circling around the monster black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy — or not.
Known to many as “G2,” the unidentified object could be a cloud of gas, or it could be a star, depending on who you ask. Discovered in 2011, G2 captured the attention of scientists because it was on its way to making a tight swing around the black hole — potentially providing the dark monster with a snack.
The new observations of G2 show that it has remained compact during its swing around the black hole, according to the authors of the new research. Since a gas cloud would likely be smeared out by the gravitational pull of the black hole, the scientists conclude that the object is a star. But the group that discovered G2 says the new results are not enough to make a definitive statement about the identity of this peculiar blob. . . .