Astronomers witness star being ‘turned into spaghetti’ by black hole

Astronomers witness star being ‘turned into spaghetti’ by black hole

Stars that wander too close to vast supermassive black holes are shredded (“spaghettified”) into thin streams of material, which are in turn devoured, releasing flashes of light.’ data-reactid=”25″>Stars that wander too close to vast supermassive black holes are shredded (“spaghettified”) into thin streams of material, which are in turn devoured, releasing flashes of light.

Matt Nicholl, a Royal Astronomical Society research fellow and lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said: “The idea of a black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. 

“But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event.”

Read more: What are fast radio bursts, and why do they look like aliens?‘ data-reactid=”35″>Read more: What are fast radio bursts, and why do they look like aliens?

The team carried out observations of AT 2019qiz, located in a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Eridanus, over a six-month period as the flare grew in luminosity and then faded away.

“Several sky surveys discovered emission from the new tidal disruption event very quickly after the star was ripped apart,” said Wevers. 

“We immediately pointed a suite of ground-based and space telescopes in that direction to see how the light was produced.”

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