The invisibility of a black hole could be considered its greatest strength. Through the fabric of space, the silent beasts drink every drop of light in the pulsations of their gravity, a bottle of radiation from the observable universe, and wait in the darkness for a helpless star to appear. Then they attack.
Now, scientists with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have announced that they have detected the next such cosmic nightmare – also known as a tidal disruption event, in which a star has a black hole as its prey, or “accretes”. Astronomers shared the news Thursday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
“Typically, these events are difficult to observe. Perhaps a few observations at the beginning of the breakup when it is really bright,” Peter Maksym of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, said in a statement. “We’ve seen this early enough that we’re moving towards this very black hole accretion.”
Caught in the embrace of a gravity gap, the shape of this spherical star has been seen to change dramatically into a glowing, twisting thread of matter. Before Hubble’s glassy eyes, the star was torn apart viciously until it looked like a swirl of fairy dust, enveloping the raptor and leaving a flaming tail to illuminate the otherwise empty space.
Appropriately, this is sometimes referred to as a black hole”“Matter, because the strongest of things, with the misfortune of treading too close to the extreme pit of gravity, is turned into thin, nodly twigs.”
Meanwhile, its black vortex has now devoured the mass of the star – at this point scientifically called a torus – dragging it into the twisted stomachs of the world, while at the same time spitting out the material as if you were eating the bones of a scrumptious chicken dinner. For context, this torus is supposed to be our size the whole solar system
“We’re looking somewhere in the edge of that donut. We see the stellar wind from the black hole sweeping over the surface that is projected toward us at speeds of twenty miles per hour,” said Maksym, which translates to 3 percent of the speed of light.
Not only is this huge because it’s, well, absolutely spectacular – but also because galaxies with quiescent, or quiescent, black holes like the one Hubble analyzed are expected to devour a star once every 100,000 years.
“We’re still getting our heads around the issue,” Maksym said.
But not like a Hollywood movie
Obviously, not Hubble literally capturing footage of everything in real time. No, this black hole didn’t look like the iconic interstellar leviathan from the vantage point of the telescope.
I say, however, that this whole situation happened between 300 million light years from Earth – which also means that it happened about 300 million years ago, when the light from the event just reached our planet, so that we could see ourselves in what we are. call it “present.”
However, what Hubble did to capture this scene is enough to allow scientists to deduce what it is? I wish look as if we could somehow watch the details that unfold like a movie.
The powerful sensitivity of the telescopes could study the ultraviolet light from the debris of the star that traveled to Earth over a millennium, and astronomers could basically absorb all those light signals as the star twisted, disintegrated and died frequently.
You can watch the visualization of the event below, via the calculator.
“There are still very few tidal events that have been observed in ultraviolet light at the time of the observer. This is really unfortunate because there is a lot of information that you can get from ultraviolet spectra,” Emily Engelthaler of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, said in a statement. “We’re excited because we can get these details about what’s causing the debris. The tidal event can tell us a lot about the black hole.”
This event, formally called AT2022dsb, was captured on March 1, 2022, by a network of telescopes based on the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae.
The study of Hubble astronomers, who immediately moved to try to get some ultraviolet readings about the violent disruption as long as possible, to immediately try to tear away as much information as possible about the evolution of the star being pulled out by the black hole. .
“The star collapsed and got this material that penetrates the black hole. And so you have models where you think you know what’s going on, and then you have what you actually see,” Maksym said. “This is an exciting place to be a scholar: in the midst of the known and the unknown.”
#black #hole #shredded #star #watching #NASAs #Hubble