A star 215 million light-years away has been obliterated by a supermassive black hole, making it the closest observation to date of stellar spaghettification.
Spaghettification doesn’t sound very scientific, but it’s a fairly accurate description of what actually happens.
A doomed star caught in the orbit of a supermassive black hole will eventually hit a kind of gravitational sweet spot that turns everything to shit. No longer capable of keeping its physical integrity, the star begins to rapidly collapse in a process known as a fast-evolving tidal disruption event. When this happens, stellar debris bursts out from the star, forming a long, thin stream, half of which gets sucked toward the black hole; the other half is blown back into space. The thin stream eventually catches up to and slams into itself, releasing energy and
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In a recently published study, a team of researchers led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) at Monash university suggests an innovative method to analyse gravitational waves from neutron star mergers, where two stars are distinguished by type (rather than mass), depending on how fast they’re spinning.
Neutron stars are extremely dense stellar objects that form when giant stars explode and die—in the explosion, their cores collapse, and the protons and electrons melt into each other to form a remnant neutron star.
In 2017, the merging of two neutron stars, called GW170817, was first observed by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors. This merger is well-known because scientists were also able to see light produced from it: high-energy gamma rays, visible light, and microwaves. Since then, an average of three scientific studies on GW170817 have been published every
Astronomers have witnessed a tidal disruption event, where a star whose material was shredded by a nearby supermassive black hole releases an bright flash of light.
The TDE is helping scientists understand more about the gruesome spaghettification process.
The flare occurred just 215 million light-years away from Earth, closer than any other previously observed tidal disruption event.
Astronomers have spotted a rare and radiant pulse of light—the last gasp of a dying star that has been sucked toward the center of a supermassive black hole and shredded into sinuous strings of stardust. This process is delightfully called spaghettification, but make no mistake: it’s gruesome.
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“When a black hole devours a star, it can launch a powerful blast of material outwards that obstructs our view,” Samantha Oates, an astronomer at the University of Birmingham, said in
In 2017, scientists detected X-rays following the collision of two neutron stars
It was the first time that X-rays were observed following a gamma ray burst
The X-rays were stil observable even 2 1/2 years after the collision
Scientists offer possible explanations for the X-ray emission’s strange behavior
A team of researchers can still detect lingering X-rays from a neutron star collision that happened 1,000 days prior. The prolonged X-ray emission continues to puzzle scientists.
It was on Aug. 17, 2017, when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo first detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars. Dubbed GW 170817, the event was observed by various telescopes from all over the world within hours of the first detection.
The initial burst was followed by a short-duration gamma ray-burst (GRB) and a slower kilonova. Nine days later, scientists detected an afterglow that was visible
It’s one of those astounding events that sounds like science fiction, but is just plain science. Astronomers say they were able to capture in unprecedented detail the process of a star being ripped into strips and devoured by a black hole.
The powerful phenomenon caught the attention of scientists when a new blast of light near a known supermassive black hole was spotted by telescopes around the world. Months worth of follow-up observations made it clear they were seeing the destruction of a far-off sun as it happened.
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“In this case the star was torn apart with about half of its mass feeding — or accreting — into a black hole of one million times the mass of the sun, and
New research shows that sunspots and other active regions can change the overall solar emissions. The sunspots cause some emissions to dim and others to brighten; the timing of the changes also varies between different types of emissions. This knowledge will help astronomers characterize the conditions of stars, which has important implications for finding exoplanets around those stars.
An international research team led by Shin Toriumi at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency added up the different types of emissions observed by a fleet of satellites including “Hinode” and the “Solar Dynamics Observatory” to see what the Sun would look like if observed from far away as a single dot of light like other stars.
The team investigated how features like sunspots change the overall picture. They found that when a sunspot is near the middle of the side of the Sun facing us, it causes the total amount of visible
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory observed a black hole sucking in a faraway star, shredding it into thin strands of stellar material.
This process, known as “spaghettification,” happens because of black holes’ powerful gravitational force.
At 215 million light-years away, this spaghettification process is the closest ever observed by astronomers.
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Astronomers have captured a rarely-seen event: a flare of light caused by a black hole devouring a nearby star like spaghetti.
Observed in the Eridanus constellation, about 215 million light-years away from Earth, the star’s destruction is the closest such event astronomers have ever observed.
“When an unlucky star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy, the extreme gravitational pull of the black hole shreds the star into thin streams of material,” study author Thomas Wevers, a fellow at the European Southern Observatory in Santiago,
Using telescopes from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other organisations around the world, astronomers have spotted a rare blast of light from a star being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. The phenomenon, known as a tidal disruption event, is the closest such flare recorded to date at just over 215 million light-years from Earth, and has been studied in unprecedented detail. The research is published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“The idea of a black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event,” says Matt Nicholl, a lecturer and Royal Astronomical Society research fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK, and the lead author of the new study. But these tidal disruption events, where a star experiences what’s known as spaghettification as it’s sucked in by a black hole,