Illustration of a star being torn apart by the massive gravitational influence of a giant black hole – Photo: NASA
The event occurred 215 million light-years from Earth and was first observed in October 2019. It’s a star in the Sun-like constellation of Eridanus, destroyed by a black hole 1 million times its mass, according to the website. Space.com.
This is the closest example of a star being “torn apart” by a tidal disruption (TDE) giant created from a black hole that astronomers have discovered.
During years of studying the phenomenon, by observing the polarization of light from the event, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley determined that much of this stellar matter was blown out of the black hole with speed up to 35 million km/h.
This explosion, dubbed AT2019qiz, created a cloud of gas that new observations of this polarized light show is spherically symmetrical.
This gas cloud is 200 times wider than the average distance from the Earth to the Sun. This means that the radius of this gas cloud is 100 times larger than the Earth’s orbit. The outer edge of the gas cloud is about 1.5 billion kilometers from the center of the black hole.
“One of the craziest things a supermassive black hole can do is shred a star with its massive tidal forces,” said Wenbin Lu, an astronomer at UC Berkeley and co-author of the study. New research, say.
This is the first event of its kind bright enough to be seen, allowing astronomers to study in detail what happens to matter from the star after it has been shredded.
The interesting fact here is that a significant portion of the matter in the star spiraling inward does not fall into the black hole; it was chopped up and continued to spiral like spaghetti and was blown out of the black hole.