Our Galaxy's Black Hole is Spewing Out Planet-size "Spitballs"
January 11, 2017 12:07 PM - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Every few thousand years, an unlucky star wanders too close to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole's powerful gravity rips the star apart, sending a long streamer of gas whipping outward. That would seem to be the end of the story, but it's not. New research shows that not only can the gas gather itself into planet-size objects, but those objects then are flung throughout the galaxy in a game of cosmic "spitball."