Recently, NASA released a minute and so animated clip that shows how a black-hole consumes a passing star. Although the video clip, published along with a study on Black-hole pull effects, is just an animation, the scientific data backing it up comes from the observation of a nearby astronomical event.
For some time know, astronomers and astrophysicists have kept a black-hole under observation situated at about 290 million light-years away from Earth. According to their estimates, the black-hole has weights a couple of million times more than our Sun.
By using high-power X-Ray telescopes, scientists observed what happens when a star collides with the black-hole’s gravitational field. In the video clip, when can observe the star slowly moving towards the black-hole designated as PGC O43234. As the distance between them diminishes, the star basically gets sucked into the void and then gets ripped apart. In scientific term, this whole ensemble in called a tidal disruption. During this process, the rest of the star falls inside the black-hole, while parts of it are thrown outside the center.
Scientists seem very anxious to continue their study on the black-hole because the data they’ve gathered so far comes to contradict the somewhat traditional point of view. According to preexisting theories, nothing can escape from a black-hole’s gravitational pull. Even light gets sucked in.
Jelle Kaastra, co-author of the study points out that the black-hole’ intense gravitational field pull everything inside. But the process is so rapid and intense, that the black-hole can’ consume everything and so debris are being expelled outside its center.
Given the intense gravitation shear, the debris conglomerate and form some sort of cloud that tend to hover around the black-hole. Alas, not even they are fast enough to escape the black-hole’s gravitational shear.
As the black-hole consumes a passing star, scientist gather even more interesting data regarding the mechanics of a black-hole. They also pointed out that in the nearby future they will be searching for similar events in order to further strengthen their newly discovered facts.
Although brief and evanescent, this event provided a wondrous opportunity. We can now use computer generated models in order to further study the effects of black holes on other passing objects. Breakthrough or not for Science, that still remain to be seen in the year to come. One small step for us and another giant step in black-hole 101 course.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org