from the no-high-fructose-corn-syrup dept.
thomst writes "A team of researchers from Harvard and MIT announced at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society a new theoretical model of how the super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way consumes gas from surrounding star clusters, based on a million seconds of observation by the orbital Chandra X-ray telescope. Astronomers had previously believed that the object, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced 'Sagittarius A-Star') consumed only around one percent of the gases it stripped from the star clusters around it, but the new model reduces its consumption to 0.01 percent (i.e. — two orders of magnitude). Physorg.com's uncredited reporter gets the story right, while space.com's Andrea Thomspon clearly doesn't understand the mechanism behind the phenomenon (essentially, thermal conduction from the extremely-hot accretion disk heats the surrounding gas, causing it to expand, and thus move away from Sagittarius A*'s gravity well)."
"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always
high, and the results usually disappointing."
-- Robert Orben