Killing a Star in a Black Hole

Slaying a Star in a Black Hole
Slaying a Star in a Black Hole - These images, illustrated by an artist, show how a black hole can eat up a passing star. 1. An ordinary star is approaching a galaxy's massive black hole. 2. The black hole's gravitational field draws in the outer gases of the star. 3. Tidal forces tear the star apart. 4. The stellar remnants are pulled into a donut-shaped ring black hole and eventually fall into it, emitting a large amount of light and high-energy radiation. Credits: Leah Hustak, NASA and ESA (STScI)

These are called “Tideal Disruption Events”. But this phrase hides the subtle, unfiltered violence of a black hole encounter. There is a trade-off between the black hole's radiation ejecting matter and its gravity pulling in stellar matter. In other words, black holes are messy eaters. Hubble is used by astronomers to reveal what happens when a stray star falls into gravitational vacuum.

The Hubble AT583dsb cannot capture the turmoil of the tidal event up close, as the engulfed star is located at the center of the galaxy, ESO 004-G300, about 2022 million light-years away. But astronomers used Hubble's powerful ultraviolet sensitivity to study light from the shattered star, including hydrogen, carbon, and more. Forensic information about the murder in the black hole was obtained through spectroscopy.

Using a variety of equipment, astronomers have detected nearly 100 tidal disruption events near black holes. On March 1, 2021, another black hole tidal disruption event was observed by many of NASA's high-energy space observatories and occurred in a different galaxy. The data was gathered in X-ray radiation from an incredibly hot corona surrounding the black hole, which appeared after the star had already disintegrated, unlike the Hubble observations.

“Given the observation time, the number of tidal events visible in ultraviolet light is still incredibly small. This is disappointing because the ultraviolet spectrum can provide very rich information,” says the Center for Astrophysics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts | Emily Engelthaler of Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA). “We are very excited to be able to learn more about what the wreckage is doing with this information. We can learn a lot about a black hole from the tidal event.” The dying star undergoes changes on a time scale that takes days or months.

Stellar fragmentation is thought to occur only a few times every 100.000 years for any galaxy with a quiescent supermassive black hole at its center.

The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, a network of ground-based observatories that scans the extragalactic sky weekly for the violent, volatile, and transient events that are transforming our universe, first discovered this AT1dsb star eating event on March 2022, 2022. Because of how close and bright this intense collision was to Earth, Hubble astronomers were able to perform ultraviolet spectroscopy over a longer period of time than usual.

“It is often difficult to witness these events. Maybe a few observations are made when the confusion first starts, when it's pretty bright. Our program is different because it was created to determine what was happening by studying several tidal events over the course of a year,” explains Peter Maksym, CfA.

“We detected this early enough to witness it during these really active periods of black hole development. The buildup rate decreased over time and eventually became a trickle.”

Interpretation of Hubble spectroscopic data

According to the interpretation of the Hubble spectroscopic data, the old star is now a region of extremely bright, hot, annular gas. There is a black hole at the center of this region, which is the size of the solar system and known as the torus.

“We're looking for something on the edge of this bun. "A stellar wind blasted towards us from the black hole at 20 million miles per hour (three percent of the speed of light) passes over the planet."

“We are still trying to process this event in our minds. The star disintegrates and the resulting debris enters the black hole. So there are patterns that give you the impression that you understand what's going on, and there are patterns that you actually observe. At the intersection of the known and the unknown, scientists can be in an exciting position.”






Günceleme: 17/01/2023 23:58

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