Astronomers see a star in real time, a black hole ‘spaghettify’

The cast’s impression of the star is poorly interrupted by a supersensitive black hole.

ESO / M. Kornmesser

This is a surprising phenomenon that sounds like science fiction, but is just plain science. Astronomers say that they were able to process a star in unprecedented detail by ripping black holes into stripes.

The powerful event attracted the attention of scientists when a new explosion of light occurred near a known supermassive black hole by telescopes around the world. A few months of follow-up observations made it clear that they were witnessing the destruction of the distant sun as it happened.

“In this case the star exploded to about half of its massive bloom – or deposited in a black hole a million times the mass of the Sun,” said astronomer Edo Berger, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics a In the statement.

A violent scene is what astronomers call a tidal disintegration event, which occurs when a star comes too close to a black hole and crumbles through it Spaghettification process – Basically, the gravity of a black hole is so intense that it pulls whatever comes in a long, thin shape like pieces of spaghetti as it swallows it all.

The event, which goes by the catalog entry AT2019qiz and the nearest 215 million light-years away sighting, is one of the flare that was caught so quickly that scientists have been able to get relatively unpublished views of the first cosmic carvings of a cloud Star guts cover the region.

NASA Einstein Fellow Kate Alexander Fellow said, “We can actually see the curtain of dust and debris as a powerful outflow starts in the black hole with a velocity of 10,000 km / h (22 million mph).” Northwestern University. “This is a unique ‘peek behind the curtain’ that provided the first opportunity to pinpoint the origin of obscure material and follow in real time how it affects the black hole.”

A paper on the discovery was published on Monday in the monthly notice of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The incident is so close and clear that Berger says it will help scientists learn more about the powerful forces at work, particularly the simultaneous pulls in the black hole of the truncated star and the external explosion of material from the star.

“So far, the nature of these emissions has been heavily debated, but here we see that the two regimes are connected by the same process.”

The hope is that AT2019qiz may be a Rosetta stone of sorts for the study and interpretation of black holes for future lunch. A distant day, space astronauts can also thank that this discovery regularly taunts them around the universe without turning them into space spaghetti.

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