The last cry of a star: astronomers witness its absorption by a black hole

Astronomers observe the absorption of a star by a black hole

In the heart of the Galaxy that is 215 million light years from the Earth, a fantastic event is taking place. In distant space, a bright flash appeared. It is the last cry of a dying star that was extremely close to the black hole that tore the star apart. Observing the process has become an unprecedented understanding of a natural yet violent cosmic phenomenon. Catching such a moment in space is a rare success.

But the astronomers manage to observe the phenomenon, and therefore they have knowledge of how a star is actually absorbed by a black hole. When a space object is in close proximity to a black hole, it uses its enormous tidal force, which is a product of its gravitational field.

It begins to pull the star with such force that it is torn to pieces. It is that tidal event that causes a bright flash. It is followed by the disintegration of the star, the debris of which disappears beyond the event horizon of the black hole.

Now, the phenomenon, that is observed by the astronomers, is unique in that the flash does not hide behind the traditionally formed cloud of dust, and allows you to study the smallest details. An astronomer Mat Nicholl of the University of Birmingham believes that today science can shed light on the origin of this dusty cloud.

When a black hole engulfs a star, it produces a powerful external burst of material that interferes with an astronomical vision. By aiming their telescopes at a small patch of sky in the constellation Eridani and at the very center of a spiral galaxy 215 million light-years from the Earth, the scientists detected emissions from a new tidal destruction. The researchers were able to see how the light is generated in that process.

When a star is torn apart by a black hole, some of the debris that forms turns into a thin, long thread of matter that is pulled into the black hole. At the same time, a bright flash is the result of intense gravitational motion effects on this accreting material.