• The so-called "megaflare" flare was spotted by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which can peer through dust and starlight to the center of the Milky Way. The event was 400 times brighter than the normal level of radiation from this region and nearly three times brighter than the previous record-holding flare.
  • Haggard and her colleagues have two possible explanations for what might have caused the flare. First, the black hole may be behaving like our own sun, which also emits bright X-ray flares. It's also plausible that the flare was the product of Sgr A* having a snack. An asteroid or other object may have come too close to the black hole, ripping it apart.
  • Haggard and her colleagues are hoping for flares from Sgr A*. With more detailed observations, she said, it might be possible to discern whether Sgr A* is rotating or stationary — a feature that can change aspects of a black hole's physiology.

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