What would happen if the black hole in the Milky Way disappeared?

In the center of the heart of our galaxy lives a supermassive black hole that we know as Sagittarius A* and of which, recently, we were able to see images and a realistic simulation of it. A black hole is an extremely dense object in space from which no light can escape.

These very mysterious and exotic objects are a key consequence of how gravity works: when a large amount of mass is squeezed into a small enough space, the resulting object rips through the very fabric of space and time, becoming a singularity. The gravity of a black hole it is so powerful that it can attract all kinds of nearby material and “eat” it.

Astronomers know that in most galaxies, a black hole resides at their center but… what would happen if, hypothetically, this supermassive black hole with a high power of gravitational attraction disappeared?

Eliminating Sagittarius A* from the center of the galaxy

Would we plunge into a stage of galactic chaos in its absence? Would it pulverize the solar system as we know it? Nothing is further from reality. The expert astrophysicist in black holes at the University of Oxford, Becky Smethurst, explains that the truth is that the Milky Way would hardly even realize that the supermassive black hole at its center had disappeared. There would be no cataclysm in the galaxy.

The immense gravity of supermassive black holes it also distorts space itself, so it is possible to see the influence of an invisible gravitational pull on stars and other objects. Everything would suggest that “supermassive” black holes, which can weigh millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun and can take less than a billion years to reach a very large size, and which have this tremendous force in our cosmos, would represent a significant change in the modus vivendi of the galaxy in which they exist.

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