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Monitoring a distant black hole annihilating a star - 02/12/2022 - Science

Monitoring a distant black hole annihilating a star – 02/12/2022 – Science

Astronomers have discovered extreme violence perpetrated on the far side of the planet. Universe known, b Black hole Destroying a star came very close to this celestial savagery. But this was no ordinary case of a hungry black hole.

According to scientists, this was one of only 4 examples – and the first since 2011 – of a black hole observed during the process of ripping apart star It was going through, in what’s been called a tidal disturbance event, then shooting luminous jets of high-energy particles in opposite directions out into space. It was the farthest and brightest event of its kind ever recorded.

Astronomers described the event in studies published on Wednesday (30) in the scientific journals Nature and nature astronomy🇧🇷

The “culprit” appears to be a supermassive black hole hundreds of millions of times the mass of our sun, located at about 8.5 billion. light years away from Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in one year: 9.5 trillion km.

said astronomer Igor Andreoni of the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of one studies🇧🇷

The event was revealed in february through vote The Zwicky Transit Facility, using a camera attached to a telescope at Palomar Observatory in California. The distance was calculated using the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

“When a star gets dangerously close to a black hole — don’t worry, this won’t happen to the sun — it is violently torn apart by the black hole’s gravitational tidal force, something similar to the way the moon pulls in tides,” said Michael Coughlin, an astronomer at the University of Minnesota and one of the study’s authors. The Earth is., but with more power.

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Then, bits of the star are captured in a high-speed spinning disk that orbits the black hole. Finally, the black hole consumes what remains of the destroyed star in the disk. In some very rare cases, which we estimate to be a hundred times more, powerful jets of Materials are in opposite directions when tidal disturbance occurs,” Coughlin added.

Andreoni and Coughlin said the black hole is likely spinning at a high speed. This may help explain how the two powerful jets were launched into space at nearly the speed of light.

Astronomer Dheeraj Pasham of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lead author of the other studyhe said that researchers were able to observe the event very early — less than a week after the black hole began devouring the doomed star.

Researchers detect tidal disturbance events about twice a month, but tidal disturbance events that produce jets are extremely rare. One of the jets from this black hole appears to be headed toward Earth, so it appears much brighter than if it were directed the other way. An effect known as “Doppler enhancement,” it is similar to the loud sound of a police siren as it passes by an observer.

The supermassive black hole is believed to be located at the center of the galaxy, in the same way that there is a black hole at the heart of the Milky Way and most galaxies. But the tidal disturbance event was so bright that it blocked out the galactic star’s light.

“At its peak, the fountain seemed brighter than a thousand trillion suns,” Basham said.

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