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Incredible NASA Animation Shows A Black Hole Destroying A Star

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Tom Hale

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

3158 Incredible NASA Animation Shows A Black Hole Destroying A Star
NASA

The vast cosmic events that go on in space can sometimes be hard to picture in your mind, even with the most vivid imagination and understanding. Thankfully, NASA has released a video demonstrating just one of those colossal clashes of the universe.

The video is an artist's rendition of a "tidal disruption." This is when a star strays into the path of a black hole and is ripped apart, causing stellar debris to fling out. The event also creates a flare of X-ray radiation which, if we're lucky, we can register. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer and ESA/NASA’s XMM-Newton even collected information on a tidal disruption caused by a supermassive black hole late last year, in an event named ASASSN-14li.

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NASA used this event to test theoretical models about how black holes affect their environments, as well as create illustrations of what events such as tidal disruptions might look like.

 

 


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spaceSpace and Physics
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