Recently astronomers have become aware of a gas cloud, called 'G2', close by the black hole being dragged towards it. The cloud initially was about 3 times the size of Pluto's orbit, with a mass around 3 times that of the Earth. But as it has accelerated towards the black hole, the tidal effects of the hole's gravity field is stretching the cloud out like spaghetti. The observations tell us that the front of the cloud has already made its first pass of the black hole, and this part of the cloud is now speeding towards us at around 10 million km per hour (about 1% of the speed of light!). The above picture shows a simulation of this 'spaghettification process', with the front of the cloud curling around the location of the blackhole. Below shows an image as the astronomer's are currently seeing the event.
During the time that the blackhole has been observed, it has been fairly quiescent since no significant material has fallen across the event horizon. However, simulations suggest that some part of the cloud will fall into the hole, and astronomers are waiting to see how much it will 'light-up'. However, whatever happens has already happened - about 26,000 years ago - since it takes this time for light from the central part of our galaxy to reach us.
Due to the tidal forces stretching
G2, the front of the cloud is now
moving around 500 km per second
faster than its tail