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Video: Deep-space black hole tears apart dying star

Using an X-ray telescope, NASA has captured the moment when a star disintegrates into a black hole. NASA has created an animation using the observation, showing what a black hole would do with a star like the sun.black-hole-tear-apart-star

The massive star weighs more than a million times than the sun. The enormous black is located about 290 million light years away from the Earth, keeping the planet away from the danger zone. It indicated that black holes do swallow up anything in contact including light, but it cannot do it forever. While the star was being torn up, it generated heat in millions of degrees, resulting in X-rays, and they escape after the black hole slows down its consumption.

“The black hole tears the star apart, and starts swallowing material really quickly, but that’s not the end of the story,” said co-author Jelle Kaastra of the Institute of Space Research in the Netherlands.

Kaastra added that the black hole can’t keep up the pace so it expels some of the material outwards. Astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory to observe the event named “ASASSN-14li,” spotted near the center of galaxy PGC 043234 that lies 290 million light years away from the earth. The spewed x-rays were picked up by instruments on earth, showing the how powerful the event was.

According to Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, this is the first tidal disruption, where astronomers have been able to witness radiation emitted at x-ray and optical wavelengths. Ramirez-Ruiz said the black hole is a cloak of debris that changes its appearance, but now we are able to see the inner beast. The observation comes as a major discovery to astronomers as they are yet to know completely about black holes.

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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