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Black hole gulps remote star

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posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 05:58 PM
Wow,cool that they can catch the most powerful force known in action.
Awesome to have discovered this.

(CNN)-WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A giant black hole displaying horrifying table manners has been caught in the act of guzzling a star in a galaxy 4 billion light-years away, scientists using an orbiting NASA telescope said on Tuesday.

For the past two years, scientists have monitored the dramatic events as the star, residing in a galaxy in the Bootes constellation, was ripped apart by the black hole.

Scientists used NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, an orbiting telescope sensitive to two bands of ultraviolet wave lengths, to detect an ultraviolet flare coming from the center of a remote elliptical galaxy.

"This ultraviolet flare was from a star literally being ripped apart and swallowed by the black hole," Suvi Gezari of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and lead author of the paper describing the findings in Astrophysical Journal Letters, said in an interview.

"This is the first time that we've actually been able to monitor the flare of radiation from such an event in detail. Only once every 10,000 years will a star pass close enough to a (galaxy's) central black hole to be ripped apart and swallowed in this manner," Gezari said.

Scientists said in this case the unfortunate star strayed a bit too close to the black hole deep inside the galaxy, and was mutilated by the force of its gravity. They believe that parts of the star swirled around and then plunged into the black hole, which sent out the bright ultraviolet flare that the satellite detected.

[edit on 8-12-2006 by Black_Fox]

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 09:17 PM
Wow, that is amazing. This goes to show what a dangerous place this universe is.

First we've seen the birth of stars and a few that have died. Now we have seen one that was destroyed.

In case you can't see the link to the article, here it is.

The link text is the same color as the background so it is hard to find.

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 09:24 PM
So does that mean it happened 4 billions years ago?

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 09:53 PM

Originally posted by AMANNAMEDQUEST
So does that mean it happened 4 billions years ago?

Yeah, that's right. That's one thing about astronomy, it is literally looking back in time. Even more compelling is they said that this only happens once every 10,000 years at a particular black hole. Even with all the galaxies out there, it is still a rare occurrence.

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