The orbit of the newly discovered rapid hot spot around Sagittarius A* superimposed on top of the first image of the supermassive black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration. (Image credit: EHT Collaboration, ESO/L. Calçada (Acknowledgment: M. Wielgus))

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Astronomers have detected a blob of hot gas whizzing around the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy at an extraordinary speed. A powerful magnetic field surrounding the colossal space-time tear has supercharged the bizarre gaseous globule, speeding it up to 30% the speed of light, a new study finds. 

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A*, is around 4 million times more massive than the sun and stretches around 40 million miles (60 million kilometers) across. Normally, anything that gets too close to such a massive black hole gets dragged beyond its event horizon by an overwhelming gravitational pull. But the newly discovered gas blob, or hot spot, is moving so quickly that it appears to have formed a stable orbit around the massive cosmic void.