NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope detailed the final moments of a star being eaten by a black hole.
The agency said this process turns the star into a pinwheel shape in the process.
When the star gets close enough, the black hole’s gravity violently rips it apart, releasing intense radiation known as a “tidal disruption event.”
Astronomers are using the telescope to better understand what’s going on, using its strong ultraviolet sensitivity to study the light from the “stellar snack event” AT2022dsb.
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The star is located at the core of the galaxy ESO 583-G004, about 300 million light-years away.
Astronomers using different telescopes have discovered about 100 tidal disturbances around black holes.
The agency recently reported that the high-energy space observatory detected another such event in March 2021.
Emily Engelthaler of the Center for Astrophysics, “We’re excited because we can get these details about what the debris is doing. The tidal event can tell us a lot about the black hole” | Harvard and the Smithsonian said in a statement.
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For any galaxy quiescent supermassive black hole at the center, it is estimated that stellar disintegration occurs a few times every 100,000 years.
This event AT2022dsb was first captured on March 1, 2022 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, a network of ground-based telescopes.
The collision was quite close to Earth and was quite bright according to ultraviolet spectroscopy for a longer period of time than normal.
“Typically, these events are hard to observe. You might get a few observations at the beginning of the disturbance, when it’s really bright. Our program is different in that it’s designed to look at a few tidal events over the course of a year to see what happens. “, Peter Maksym from the Center for Astrophysics explained. “We saw it early enough that we could observe it in the accretion stages of these very dense black holes. We saw that the accumulation rate decreased over time as it became a drop.”
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The data is interpreted as coming from a donut gas field that was once a star.
The area is known as a torus that revolves around a black hole in the middle.
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