Scientists found a black hole spaghetti star very close to Earth

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Astronomers have spotted the closest visible-light example yet of a supermassive black hole ripping apart and devouring a star.
This star’s gory death can be blamed on a black hole with a mass equal to around one million suns; the event occurred in the active star-birthing galaxy NGC 3799, which is located about 160 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Leo.
The scientists, who hail from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, discovered the stellar murder, referred to as a tidal disruption event, or TDE, when they spotted the sudden brightening and rapid fading of the barred spiral galaxy within which it occurred.
The discovery was made with the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) system on Feb. 22, 2023.
“While black holes destroying stars have been seen before, this is the first one we have seen this close using visible light,” Willem Hoogendam, IfA graduate student and research co-leader, said in a statement.
“This could give us a much better understanding of how supermassive black holes grow and collect material around them.”
Related: Astronomers witness 18 ravenous black holes ripping up and devouring starsStellar pomodoroTDEs occur when stars venture too close to supermassive black holes, which dwell at the hearts of all large galaxies and have masses equal to millions, or even billions, of suns.
The immense gravitational forces of these monstrous black holes generate huge tidal forces that squeeze the doomed stars horizontally while also stretching them vertically.
This turns the stars into cosmic noodles of stellar material that wrap around supermassive black holes like spaghetti on a fork.
After this process, aptly called “spaghettification,” each destroyed star is gradually fed to the supermassive black hole.
This violent process generates extremely bright flares that can be seen with instruments here on Earth.
Though these events are fairly common, finding TDEs relatively close to Earth in this manner is rare.
That makes the TDE in NGC 3799, designated ASASSN-23bd, a prime target for follow-up investigations.
“This discovery suggests that black holes ripping stars apart nearby could be more common than previously thought — we just haven’t witnessed it happening frequently,” Hoogendam.
The team followed up their initial observations of the TDE in NGC 3799 with more observations using ground- and space-based observatories, including the IfA’s Asteroid Terrestrial Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescopes on the Hawaiian mountains of Maunaloa and Haleakalā as well as the W.M.
Keck Observatory on Maunakea.
The team discovered that ASASSN-23bd is remarkable among TDEs for reasons other than its proximity to Earth.
This TDE brightened over the course of just 15 days and then rapidly dimmed, making it around twice as fast as other TDEs.
Additionally, it produced much less energy than other TDES.
This marks it out as part of a category of events called “low luminosity and fast TDEs.”
The team’s ASASSN-23bd findings are set to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The closest example of a supermassive black hole consuming a star that has been seen with the naked eye has been discovered by astronomers.

The cause of this star’s horrific demise is a black hole with a mass of roughly one million suns; it happened in the Leo constellation’s active star-birthing galaxy, NGC 3799, which is situated 160 million light-years from Earth.

The researchers, who work at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, identified the sudden brightening and quick fading of the barred spiral galaxy that contained the stellar murder, which is known as a tidal disruption event, or TDE. The All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) system made the discovery on February 29. 22 March 2023.

According to a statement from Willem Hoogendam, an IfA graduate student and research co-leader, “black holes destroying stars have been seen before, but this is the first one we have seen this close using visible light.”. This could provide a much better understanding of the growth and material accumulation processes surrounding supermassive black holes. “.

Related: Eighteen ferocious black holes are seen by astronomers tearing apart and consuming stars.

pomodoro starry.

TDEs are caused by stars that approach supermassive black holes—black holes with masses comparable to millions or even billions of suns—which are located at the center of all massive galaxies.

The massive tidal forces created by these colossal black holes’ immense gravitational pull squeeze the doomed stars both vertically and horizontally. Because of this, the stars become cosmic noodles made of stellar material, which resemble spaghetti on a fork and wrap around supermassive black holes. Following this procedure, which is dubbed “spaghettification,” every destroyed star is progressively fed into the supermassive black hole. Instruments on Earth can detect the incredibly bright flares produced by this violent process.

Finding TDEs in this manner relatively close to Earth is rare, although these events are fairly common. For this reason, the TDE in NGC 3799, known as ASASSN-23bd, is a great candidate for additional research.

“We haven’t seen it happen often, but this discovery suggests that black holes tearing apart nearby stars could be more common than previously thought,” said Hoogendam.

The team used ground- and space-based observatories, such as the IfA’s Asteroid Terrestrial Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescopes on the Hawaiian mountains of Maunaloa and Haleakalā as well as the W, to follow up on their initial observations of the TDE in NGC 3799. M. Maunakea’s Keck Observatory.

Because of factors other than its closeness to Earth, the team found that ASASSN-23bd stands out among TDEs.

In just fifteen days, this TDE brightened and then rapidly dimmed, about twice as fast as other TDEs. It also generated a great deal less energy than other TDES. This locates it within the “low luminosity and fast TDEs” category of events. “.

The results obtained with ASASSN-23bd will be released by the team in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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