Appeared impressive photo, like a black hole in space "eats" a star

17 June, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • A NASA computer-simulated image of gas from a star getting swallowed by a black hole and gas ejecting at light-speed into space

Using radio and infrared telescopes the team studied a pair of galaxies colliding with each other almost 150 million light-years from Earth.

Supermassive black holes aren't your ordinary stellar-variety black holes whose mass is just a couple of times that of our sun.

Using radio telescopes and infrared telescopes, an worldwide team of astrophysicists was able to observe a star twice as massive as the Sun passing near one of the supermassive black holes with a mass of 20 million solar masses.

When a star gets too close to a black hole's event horizon, it is pulled apart by the extreme gravity and slurped into the hole as a bright flare.

Another scientist, Clive Tadhunter from the University of Sheffield, told Gizmodo that "the association of a jet with a particular type of accretion event - the tidal disruption of a star - could potentially improve our understanding of jet formation in general", regardless of what formed the jet.

It was seen "gobbling a star twice the size of the Sun", says Sky News, and then ejecting a "rapid jet of particles". The superfast jet of charged particles emitted by the black hole packs a staggering 125 billion times the amount of energy the sun releases per year.

There are many galaxies out there that also have supermassive black holes.

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The source of the infrared and radio emissions, dubbed Arp 299-B AT1, was put under surveillance for more than 10 years with the VLBA, the European VLBI Network (EVN), and other radio telescopes.

But again, whether its common or uncommon, let's be grateful that the closest known black hole is over 3,000 lightyears away.

One of the tools scientist used to see the jet material that blasted across galaxies was the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a radar that amplifies and records the on-goings in space using a 25 meter antenna.

However, the radio and infrared emissions continued to wave outward, like an interstellar greeting, six months later. Subsequent monitoring showed the expansion growing, confirming that what the scientists are seeing is a jet, not a supernova.

"As time passed, the new object stayed bright at infrared and radio wavelengths, but not in visible light and X-rays", said Seppo Mattila, of the University of Turku in Finland in a statement.

One of the effects: a powerful jetstream extending into one direction that was caught by radio and infrared telescopes. The results of the observation were published in the journal Science.

"Never before have we been able to directly observe the formation and evolution of a jet from one of these events", Miguel Perez-Torres, of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia, another of the 36 total authors on the paper, said. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope.


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