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Deep in the heart of the Milky Way galaxy lurks an extraordinary black hole. Astronomers call it "supermassive." It has been feeding on the core of our galaxy so long, the hole has accumulated more than a million Suns of mass inside its pinprick belly.

How do we know it's there? You can't see a black hole. It reveals itself whenever an errant star or cloud of gas meanders too close. Matter falling into the hole is ripped apart and superheated, emitting bursts of high-energy radiation just before it disappears over the event horizon. Occasionally a burp of X-rays emanates from the Milky Way's core, and astronomers check off another meal.



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