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.”
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.
“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.
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 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.”
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.