View Full Version : Giant Black Hole Seen Tearing a Star Apart

2005-Sep-07, 01:28 AM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have spotted a supermassive black hole in the heart of galaxy RX J1242-11 in the process of tearing a star apart and consuming it. The event was originally discovered by the German Roentgen satellite, which indicated an X-ray burst with more energy than a supernova at the centre of the galaxy. Astronomers focused in with NASA's Chandra and the ESA's XMM-Newton X-Ray Observatories, and watched this long-theorized process unfold. It's believed that the star was thrown off course by interactions with another star so that it ended up near the clutches of the supermassive black hole. It was stretched by the enormous tidal forces until it was torn apart, releasing a tremendous amount of energy.

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