Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Scientists capture shot of star being ripped apart by a black hole

Falling temperature of ASASSN-19bt New Magnificent Black Hole Visualization
Terrell Bush | 01 October, 2019, 10:26

Such phenomena occur when a star ventures close to a supermassive black hole, objects that remain at the center of massive galaxies including our Milky Way. Only after the Event Horizon Telescope united several observatories around the world did the team, working together in 2017, produced an image of a supermassive black hole within the galaxy M87, which the scientists released earlier this year.

Black holes have always been a point of curiosity for scientists because of incredibly strong gravitational pull which can swallow nearly everything on their way.

Patrick Vallely, a co-author of the study and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Ohio State, said, "We were very lucky with this event in that the patch of the sky where TESS is continuously observing is small, and in that this happened to be one of the brightest tidal disruption events we've seen". Therefore, NASA went through computer simulations to dig deep into the black hole gravity warps. In the process, the extreme gravity breaks the star apart into an elongated stream of gas. The other light from the disk deflects back due to the gravitational field of the black hole. This was the first such event noticed by TESS; however, scientists hope it won't be the last. It is about 37.5 million light years away from the Volans constellation.

Astrophysicists have predicted that the orbit tightens and the supermassive black holes merger over time. Luckily, the break-up of the star was quite bright, and it happened in the satellite's continuous viewing zone above the south pole.

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Firstly, rest-in-peace star ASASSN-19bt.

TESS, launched in April 2018, is NASA's second spacecraft after Kepler Space Telescope in the search for planets outside our solar system, including those that could support life. However, ASAS-SN didn't see the event until a week after TESS.

"Because we identified the tidal disruption quickly with the ground-based All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), we were able to trigger multiwavelength follow-up observations in the first few days". We're hoping for exoplanets, too.

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