NASA captured a huge black hole destroying a star 375 million light years from Earth.
The extremely rare phenomenon, known as tidal disturbance, was captured by the space agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) satellite.
It showed a star similar to our sun being sucked in by the gravitational force of the black hole, which was about six million times its size.
The explosion, which astronomers could observe from beginning to end, only happens between 10,000 and 100,000 years in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way.
"This was really a combination of being good and being lucky, and sometimes that's what you need to get science going," said astronomer Thomas Holoien of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who led the research published in the Astrophysical Journal.
“As we identified tidal disruption quickly (…), we were able to trigger follow-up observations at various wavelengths in the early days. Initial data will be incredibly useful for modeling the physics of these explosions, ”he added.
The team used Swift's UV data to determine that the temperature dropped about 50%, from about 71,500 to 35,500 degrees Fahrenheit (40,000 to 20,000 degrees Celsius during the event).
Black holes usually reside in the center of most large galaxies, including the Milky Way.
Watching light flicker as the black hole devours the star and vomits stellar material in an outer spiral can help astronomers understand the behavior of the black hole, a scientific mystery since physicist Albert Einstein examined the influence of gravity on moving light. .
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