A black hole lunch: stellar spaghetti

Astronomers call it “spaghettification”, and it’s not a pretty idea: it happens when you get close to a black hole and fall inside. The tidal forces pull you in and tear you apart like a noodle, then circle your slit until the black hole. Collided and knocked each other down.

Side blinds, the energy released by your long fall and the crashing used together as your atoms can produce a flash – the funeral pyre of a universe, if you will – it can be seen in the universe.

In the case reported last week, he was the only unknown star in distant galaxies to have met his destiny. Thanks to luck and the ever-increasing vigilance of heaven, the whole world was watching as the star descended.

“Actually, it was a festival,” Matt Nicole, an astrophysicist at the University of Birmingham in England, said in an email. He led a team of astronomers who described these stellar apocalypse in the Royal Astronomical Society’s monthly instructions on Monday.

“This black hole was a messy eater,” said Kate Alexander of Northwestern University and Dr. A member of Nicole’s team added in an email. In the end, she said, only half the star eats through the black hole. The rest of its decomposable material, a few percent of the light, was blown out into space at a breakneck speed.

The excitement began on September 19, 2019, when the Zwicky Transit facility, a telescope on Palomer Mountain in California, and other space surveillance networks found a flame at a 215 million light-year center from Earth in the constellation Aridenus.

The phenomenon of tidal disturbances in flames was characterized by the technical name of when a black hole star is cut and eaten.

Astronomers rushed to their ground- and space-based telescopes to monitor the AT 2019 qiz, as the flame was named. (“AT” means “astronomical moment.”)

Over the next few weeks the flames quickly brightened. At its peak, it emits billions of rays equal to our sun. Over the next five months the flames gradually subsided.

The result was a unique and multidimensional view – based on radio emissions, X-rays and gamma rays as well as old-fashioned visible light observations on the pitfalls of death through black holes.

Black holes are gravitational pits in space-time that are predicted by general relativity, Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity. They are so deep and deep that anything, not even light, can escape them. Our galaxies, and probably most of the galaxies, are filled with black holes when the big stars die and collapse on their own. Also, in the core of each galaxy there is a supersize version of one of these monsters that is millions or billions of times like the Sun.

“We know that most galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers,” said Dr. Alexander. Alexander wrote in an email. “But we still don’t understand how these black holes became as big as them, or how they shape their host galaxies.” Studying stellar disturbances, he said, could help to understand how these black holes eat, grow, and interact with their atmosphere.

The black hole in the Aridenus galaxy weighs about one million solar masses. As Dr. N. Nicole and his team rebuilt, a star about the size and mass of our own sun orbited the center of the galaxy and went very close – about 100 million miles – into a black hole.

It is about the distance of the sun from the earth. At that time, the gravity bridge was crossed from the main body of the star by pulling gravity from the black hole, and the star was “spaghettified” in the long current around the hole. Eventually the current wrapped around the black hole and collided with itself, “which at that point the black hole began to suck it up,” Dan Nicole said.

He added, “If you pull the sun in a thin stream and run towards us, that’s what a black hole has seen.”

Astronomers have recently documented other such black hole disruptions, but such events rarely occur near our own galaxy, and their internal dynamics are often obscured by dust and gas, due to fatal collisions. In this case, astronomers can see behind the scenes and observe that it is made of truncated star bits.

D we. “Because we caught it early, we really could see a veil of dust and debris being blown away as a powerful flow of material began through the black hole,” Alexander said.

They saw that most of the light came from this material, which was blowing into space at a speed of about 6,000 miles per second. Spectral studies suggest that the material flowing out of the black hole was the same as the one falling inside – evidence that it was crushed by a clumsily eaten star.

D star. Alexander said the Flame AT 1910qiz could act as a “rosette stone” to understand other star-shattering phenomena. She added that the AT 2019 qiz was special, as astronomers began observing it very early after the stars left, and collected so much data from a variety of telescopes.

New telescopes, such as the Vera Rubin Observatory and the European Extremely Large Telescope, both under construction in Chile, should also be featured in many of these more cosmic-food instagrams.

Bone hunger.