Astronomers have discovered a black hole mysteriously spewing out pieces of an engulfed star a few years after it was consumed.
The event, which scientists have classified as AT2018hyz, began in 2018 when astronomers saw a black hole grab an unfortunate star with its strong gravitational pull before tearing it apart.
Then, three years later, in 2021, a radio telescope in New Mexico picked up a signal indicating unusual activity – a black hole began to erupt a star at half the speed of light.
Black holes have previously been seen to devour stars before regurgitating them, but so far, the ejection has only occurred during the “eating”. The researchers used four ground-based observatories around the world and two space-based observatories to record the event.
The scientists’ work was published in The Astrophysical Journal.
“It took us by surprise — no one had ever seen anything like it before,” said the lead author, an astrophysicist at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Yvette Sendes.
The absorption of a star by a black hole is called a tidal disruption event (TDE) because of the powerful tidal forces that act on the star due to the black hole’s gravity.
As the star pulls closer and closer to the black hole’s mouth, the black hole’s tidal forces strip and stretch the star layer by layer; turning it into a long, noodle-like thread that wraps tightly around the black hole like spaghetti around a fork, forming a ball of hot plasma. This is known as spaghettification.
This plasma rapidly accelerates around the black hole and turns into a huge jet of energy and matter, which produces a characteristic bright flash that can be detected by optical, X-ray and radio wave telescopes.
But AT2018hyz is unusual: not only has it waited three years after swallowing a star to emit a flare, but the speed of material ejected from its mouth is staggering. Most TDE streams move at 10% the speed of light, but the ejected stellar matter of AT2018hyz moves at 50% the speed of light.
“We have been studying TDEs with radio telescopes for over a decade and occasionally find them glowing in radio waves as they erupt material when the star is first being swallowed up by the black hole. But there was radio silence in AT2018hyz for the first three years, and now it has brightened up dramatically and has become one of the brightest TDEs ever observed,” said Edo Berger, co-author of the study, professor of astronomy at Harvard University.
Scientists aren’t sure what causes the flash delay, but they think the delay may be more common than previously thought. To test if this is the case, astronomers will need to look at the sources of other TDEs previously thought to be out of commission to see if they can catch their flare again.
‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space
The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.
The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”.
Modernity.news reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”
The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.
Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?
Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:
a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or
2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or
iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”
Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.
Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.
Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.
Earth has built-in protection from asteroids
Asteroids are not just wandering space rocks, but a potential threat
to Earth. But what if the Earth already has its own built-in defenses
against them? Recent research published on the preprint server arXiv puts forward an unusual theory: Earth’s gravitational forces may serve as its secret shield against asteroids.
planet uses powerful gravitational interactions with other celestial
bodies to break apart asteroids that approach it. These tidal forces,
akin to those that explain Earth’s tides caused by the Moon, can be so
intense that objects undergo tidal disruption, causing them to be torn
Observations of fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 after
its collision with Jupiter in 1994 provided the first confirmation of
this phenomenon. However, for decades astronomers have been looking for
evidence that Earth or other terrestrial planets could have a similar
effect on asteroids and comets.
Planetary scientist Mikael Granvik
from the Swedish University of Technology, Luleå, led the research that
came closer to solving the above phenomenon.
discovery is linked to the search for gravitationally disrupted
near-Earth asteroids (NEAS), and provides compelling evidence that our
planet’s gravitational forces are not just an abstract concept, but a
factor capable of breaking asteroids into small pieces.
modeling of asteroid trajectories, Grunwick and colleague Kevin Walsh of
the Southwest Research Institute found that collisions with rocky
planets can cause asteroids to lose a significant portion of their mass,
turning them into debris streams.
New data shows that small
asteroid fragments, while not posing a threat to life on the planet, may
nevertheless increase the likelihood of local collisions like those
that occurred in Tunguska and Chelyabinsk.
Granwick assures that
asteroids smaller than 1 km in diameter are not a critical threat, but
increase the likelihood of incidents. However, it is worth remembering
the additional risks that may arise due to the formation of new debris
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