Tuesday, October 27

Black hole devours star: death by spaghetti


  • fromMarvin Ziegele

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That a black hole sucks in a star sounds like science fiction. Scientists have discovered exactly this phenomenon.

  • Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (THAT) observed a rare phenomenon.
  • One Black hole “Sucks” a star.
  • The Stern torn into fine strands.

When an object is too close to you Black hole When it comes around, it mostly ceases to exist because of the Black hole is swallowed. In this case one speaks of a “Tidal Disruption Event”. Before that, the object is “spaghetted”. What is hidden behind the term, shows one new observation a team of astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

“Spaghetti”: black hole devours star

“The idea that a Black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. But that’s exactly what happens at a tidal disruption event, ”explains Matt Nicholl, professor and research fellow at the Royal Astronomical Society at Birmingham University and lead author of the new study. It is extremely difficult to identify the moments when stars are from Black holes be swallowed to examine. Especially if the so-called “Spaghetti“Show up.

Last year, the research team was able to use the “Very Large Telescope” (VLT) and the “New Technology Telescope” of the THAT perceive a flash of light near a supermassive Black hole occurred. The origin of the flash of light: a star that came from the Black hole was devoured. The researchers wanted to study the phenomenon more closely.

Black hole tears star into thin threads

In theory it is clear what is happening. When an unfortunate star is too close to a supermassive one Black hole wanders in the center of a galaxy, the extreme pull of the Black hole the star in thin threads of matter, ”says study author Thomas Wevers. At this moment one speaks of “spaghetti”. While the star is torn into thin threads of matter, some of the star’s fine strands can be drawn into the Black hole falling, releasing a tremendous surge of energy that can be proven by astronomers.

A black hole swallows a star, visualized in an artistic representation.

© ESO / M. Grain knife

The investigation of the flash of light has been made difficult in the past Black hole while devouring one Sterns Material can be thrown outwards, creating a kind of curtain of dust and debris, making it difficult for astronomers to see. According to the authors, the observed process was a stroke of luck. “Because we caught him early, we could actually watch the curtain of dust and debris build up when that Black hole triggered a powerful ejection of material at speeds of up to 10,000 km / s, ”says Kate Alexander, author of the study. (Marvin Ziegele)

Header list image: © ESO / M. Kornmesser




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