One lone star got a little too close to a black hole.
A new image from NASA shows a massive black hole, located about 250 million light-years from Earth, destroying a star. “It was the fifth-closest example of a black hole destroying a star ever observed,” a news release stated.
NASA released a photo illustration of the phenomenon.
The black hole is in the center of another galaxy.
The stunning image captured the process of how the black hole dismantled the star through a process formally known as a tidal disruption event, according to a news release.
With the new photo, scientists can use the information to understand black hole feeding better.
Previously, scientists have only studied black holes surrounded by hot gas that accumulated over multiple decades, sometimes millennia, and form disks billions of miles wide.
A new study focuses on an event called AT2021ehb, which occurred in a galaxy with a central black hole that is 10 million times the mass of Earth’s sun, which is about the same difference between a bowling ball and the Titanic, a news release said
During this phenomenon, a black hole pulled one side of a star harder than the other, resulting in the star stretching apart and transforming into a long line of hot gas, a news release said.
Scientists are trying to figure out how this happened.