Our technology has evolved so much in the last decades that we were actually able to see a massive star torn to shreds by a black hole. Historically, this is the first time any phenomenon like this one was ever noticed and it is quite exciting to think about it, especially if you think about the fact that this star was roughly the same size as our own sun. Some people might perceive it as being interesting, but others might think about it with horror.
Scientists were able to witness this process from beginning to end and described it for the entire world: the massive star was torn to shreds by a black hole, leaving behind a disk of debris which now casually circulates the giant killer. The “pieces” that were lucky enough not to be engulfed by the darkness were thrown into space with the speed of light, never to see their birth place ever again.
This killer black hole can be found at a distance of 300 million light years away from our planet. Scientists have given it the name ASASSN-14Li, a rather casual name for “assassin”, if you look at it. It is a super massive black hole and it was measured to be approximately 1 million larger than the sun. Luckily, it is so far away from us that we do not need to worry about it. Hopefully, if it will not feed on other celestial bodies, it will lose most of its power and enter a sort of slumber.
The reason why scientists are so fascinated with this phenomenon is because it actually proves that black holes feed on the matter that they encounter. This has only been theorized until now, but since they managed to identify and observe the entire process, astronomers now have a new piece of information they can rely on.
Nonetheless, this does not make black holes more understandable than they were before. Black holes are known for their “irresistible personalities” and once any matter gets sucked into them there is no going back. As long as light cannot come back from a black hole, nothing can. And while there is one piece added to the puzzle, the struggle to understand black holes and how they work will continue as usual.
Photo Credits flickr.com