UC Santa Cruz researchers witnessed a black hole engulfing a star

UC Santa Cruz researchers witnessed a black hole engulfing a star
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One of the most fascinating objects became even more attractive and mysterious in space.

An international team led by researchers University of California, Santa Cruz, the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and Washington State University witnessed a black hole “breaking apart” a lone star, causing a distinctive, bright glow. 10 news release he said.

A brutal feast, or “arrival disruption event,” was recorded in a dwarf galaxy 850 million light-years away. The Young Supernova Experiment (YSE), a survey that monitors cosmic explosions and “astrophysical transitions”: extreme, destructive events in the dark corners of space.

In a news release, university officials broke it down and explained that “an intermediate-mass black hole lurking undetected in a dwarf galaxy has revealed itself to astronomers as it engulfs a stray star that has strayed too close.” Black holes are so difficult to detect that telescopes that receive X-rays or light cannot even image them. According to NASA🇧🇷 However, Images taken for the first time in 2019 shows that they appear as dark objects surrounded by hot, glowing matter.

“We are in an era of what I call celestial cinematography,” UC Santa Cruz professor Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, who studies the “violent universe,” told SFGATE by phone. While YSE has helped capture hundreds, if not thousands, of supernovae, he said it was a pleasant surprise to find a medium-sized black hole consuming a star.

“We haven’t really found many of these low-mass black holes, these difficult intermediate-mass black holes,” he said.

“It was something we didn’t expect,” laughed Ramirez-Ruiz.

An image of a failed star stumbling into the path of a black hole.

An image of a failed star stumbling into the path of a black hole.

University of California Santa Cruz/Lick Observatory

These “interesting and unusual” disruption events are rare, he added. Researchers would have to survey 100,000 galaxies a year to see just one. Still, they’re important to discover, Ramirez-Ruiz said, because they could shed light on one of astronomy’s most pressing questions, namely how supermassive black holes form at the center of massive galaxies. Even our own Milky Way galaxy has one of these behemoths at its core NASA🇧🇷

Indeed, 2022 has been quite a year for black holes.

In June, researchers at UC Berkeley collected potential evidence of a ghost-like “free-floating” black hole. drifting through space. Considered “one of the most exotic phenomena in astrophysics,” these objects have rightly captured the hearts of researchers in California.

Ramirez-Ruiz says YSE will continue to monitor galaxies for more cosmic events.

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