(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers at the University of California have studied the flash of light that appears when a star is swallowed up by a black hole. The work of scientists was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
An example of such a phenomenon, the Tidal Destruction Event (TDE) AT2019qiz, was recorded in 2019. Then, 215 million light-years from Earth, a massive black hole crushed a star that came too close to it.
By studying the light, scientists planned to understand exactly how the destruction of the celestial body occurred.
To do this, they used the 3-meter Shane telescope at the Lick Observatory in California, equipped with the Kast spectrograph, which can determine the polarization of light across the entire optical spectrum.
Their observations showed that the star was destroyed at a high speed – up to 10 thousand km / s. Then a spherical cloud of gas formed from the remnants of the star, which are ejected from the black hole.
According to scientists, it is precisely because of such clouds that researchers cannot detect high-energy radiation, such as X-rays, that occur during the destruction of stars.
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