January 31, 2023

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope records a black hole wriggling the star into a doughnut shape

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Record in detail a star’s final moments as it is devoured by a black hole.

The agency said the process transformed the star into a donut-like shape in the process.

When a star gets close enough, the black hole’s gravitational grip violently tears it apart, belching intense radiation in what’s 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 AT2022dsb “stellar snack event.”

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This sequence of artist’s illustrations shows how a black hole can devour a passing star. 1. An ordinary star passes near a supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. 2. The outer gases of the star are drawn into the gravitational field of the black hole. 3. A star gets ripped apart when tidal forces pull it away. 4. The stellar remnant is pulled into a circular ring around the black hole and will eventually fall back into the black hole, emitting a massive amount of high-energy light and radiation.
(Credits: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI))

The star is located 300 million light-years away in the heart of galaxy ESO 583-G004.

Astronomers have detected nearly 100 tidal disturbance events around black holes using various telescopes.

The agency recently reported that another such event was detected by a high-powered space observatory in March 2021.

The star's outer gases are drawn into the black hole's gravitational field.

The star’s outer gases are drawn into the black hole’s gravitational field.
(Credits: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI))

“We’re excited that we can get these details about what the debris is doing. Tidal events can tell us a lot about the black hole,” Emily Engelthaler, of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard and Smithsonian, he said in a statement.

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for any galaxy with A massive supermassive black hole At the center, stellar ripping is estimated to happen only a few times every 100,000 years.

This AT2022dsb event was first detected on March 1, 2022, by the All-Sky Instrument Survey of Supernovae, a network of ground-based telescopes.

The stellar remnant is drawn into a circular ring around the black hole, and will eventually fall back into the black hole, emitting a massive amount of high-energy light and radiation.

The stellar remnant is drawn into a circular ring around the black hole, and will eventually fall back into the black hole, emitting a massive amount of high-energy light and radiation.
(Credits: NASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI))

The collision was close enough to Earth and bright enough because of ultraviolet spectroscopy over a longer period of time than usual.

“Normally, these events are hard to notice. You probably get some observations at the beginning of the disturbance when it’s really bright. Our software is different in that it’s designed to look at some tidal events over the course of a year to see what happens,” explained Peter Maksim of the Astrophysical Center. We saw this early enough that we could observe it in the extremely intense phases of black hole accretion. We’ve seen the rate of accumulation decrease as it becomes shortening over time.”

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The data is interpreted as coming from the circular figure The gas region that was once a star.

Known as the torus, the region orbits a black hole in the centre.