Supermassive black hole devours a star, blasts its remains at Earth

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A supermassive black hole gobbled up a star, tore it apart and uniquely ejected a beam of light from its center.

In a science research report published Wednesday, astronomers say a previously unknown black hole was made known to observers when a star passed too close and was devoured.

Astronomers then observed a beam of “afterglow” from the catastrophe, which experts call a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE), aimed directly at Earth.

“The event began when an ill-fated star approached the supermassive black hole (SMBH) on a near parabolic orbit and was dismembered in a stream of gaseous debris,” said the scientific paper, published Nov. 30. “About half of the mass remained bound to the black hole, underwent a general relativistic apsidal precession as the gas fell back toward the pericenter, then produced strong shocks at the self-crossing point.”

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The scientists said the beam emitted — the AT2022cmc, or an “infrared/optical/ultraviolet light curve” — was initially red in color before fading to a blue hue over four days.

The astronomers added: “The optical and ultraviolet observations revealed a rapidly fading red ‘glow’ that quickly transitioned to a slow blue ‘plateau’, allowing the study of two components generated by the tidal disturbance: the relativistic jet and the thermal component of bound stellar debris accumulating on the black hole.”

The blasted remnants were so powerfully bright that astronomers discovered the dwarf galaxy’s TDE a million light-years away.

The article added: “Observations of a bright counterpart at other wavelengths, including X-ray, submillimeter and radio, support the interpretation of AT2022cmc as a jetted TDE with a synchrotron.”

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The TDE was discovered in February 2022, before the science newspaper received the paper on it in April 2022, and the research was finally accepted in October 2022.

TDEs have been observed before, such as the AT 2020neh in June 2020.

The Herschel Space Observatory has shown that galaxies with the most powerful, active, supermassive black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with fewer active black holes.
(Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Ryan J. Foley, a co-author and astronomer from UC Santa Cruz, said this initial discovery would pave the way for astronomers to find other TDEs and new dwarf galaxies.

“This discovery has generated widespread excitement because we can use tidal disturbances not only to find more medium-mass black holes in silent dwarf galaxies, but also to measure their masses,” Foley said in a science paper co-published Nov. 10. published.

The discovery spanned years of research when the distant galaxy was first observed in June 2020, and was confirmed with data from the Young Supernova Experiment. It was observed again from July 1, 2020 to July 17, 2020; then from August 5, 2020 to September 6, 2020.

“During 24 months of YSE operations, we observed only one AT 2020neh-like event, with fields monitored for approximately 6 months each. This corresponds to one event per year within the YSE observation volume,” the scientific paper reads.

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These unique discoveries could result in even more discoveries in distant galaxies that would otherwise be undetectable without visible light from the explosion.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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