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Astronomers Are Watching a Black Hole Tear a Star Apart in Another Galaxy

Astronomers detected a massive outpouring of energy from a distant galaxy 10 years ago, which would usually mean a supernova event — the death of a star. The galaxy in question is actually two galaxies colliding, so the region known as Arp 299 is rich with supernovae. However, the signal changed in unexpected ways over the last decade, and scientists now believe this is a result not of a supernova, but of a star being gobbled up by a black holeblack hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

astronomers-black hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

black hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

In a new study, astronomers claim a star with around two solar masses came apart at the seams when it encountered a black hole with the mass of 20 suns. The original event (about 150 million light years distant) showed up in the sky to be detected by the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands. black hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

It was bright across much of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is what you’d expect from a supernova. The signal eventually changed in ways that made scientists wonder if this was more than just another supernova. black hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

When a star ventures too close to a black hole, it won’t necessarily fall in right away. The black hole may pull material away from the star over the course of many years, creating an accretion disc of matter spiraling into the event horizon. black hole discovery how are black holes formed black hole nasa black hole facts

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