What happened to the star that fell into the black hole? Astronomers were amazed

(ORDO NEWS) — In our minds, black holes, as it were, suck in planets and stars, swallowing them whole. But in fact, everything is not quite so.

For the first time, scientists have been able to observe the tidal disruption event directly through a telescope. This is what happens when a black hole “sucks” a star.

A sun-like star 215 million light-years from Earth experienced tidal disruption.

This was the first time that the event was bright enough for scientists to analyze the radiation and, in particular, the polarization of the star’s light and find out what happened after the star was torn apart.

How a black hole tore apart a star

On October 8, 2019, scientists noticed that most of the star’s material had been blown away by winds at 10,000 kilometers per second.

The stellar gas formed spherical clouds and created high-energy bursts of radiation. However, the layer of gas blocked most of the radiation generated by the black hole’s disk.

Earlier, other observations of light emission from tidal disruption showed that much of the star’s matter was ejected by powerful streams of matter.

But the new data on the polarization of light showed next to nothing in either the visible or optical range, so astronomers point out that the clouds around the black hole are probably spherically symmetrical.

The results of this study provide an answer to the question of why astronomers do not see high-energy radiation, such as X-rays, from many of the dozens of tidal disruption events observed so far.

This is because the X-rays produced by the material torn off the star and drawn into the accretion disk are absorbed by the escaping gas, literally blown away by the powerful winds around the black hole, and returned back to the hole.


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