black-hole-flareAs you might know, the Milky Way Galaxy, in which we are all floating, has a black hole with a mass 4.5 million times bigger than that of our sun at its very center. So, when NASA says a documented occurrence in that vast pit of darkness “raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment,” I get a little nervous. Fortunately, the observation they’re talking about is little cause for alarm. What happened is that back in September of 2013, the Chandra X-Ray space observatory recorded an X-ray flare from the center of the Milky Way’s black hole (a vortex known as Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*) that was 400 times brighter than the energy usually emitted from the area. You can see the flare in the image above. NASA is presenting this documentation at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, slated in Seattle this week. More