Africa-Press – Sierra-Leone. Stars live an incredible life, with some lasting up to a trillion years, and all they need to survive is hydrogen fusion and gravity. Astronomers have studied a rare optical flare causing a star’s death while encountering a supermassive black hole. The event has produced some of the most luminous jets ever seen.
In general, when a star or any astronomical body gets too close to supermassive black holes, they are destroyed as they are overcome by the black hole’s gravity.
These incidents are also known as tidal-disruption events (TDE), in this case, the supermassive black hole AT2022cmc ejected bright beams of material traveling close to the speed of light.
India’s first robotic optical research telescope, the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH), focuses on time-domain astronomy: studying explosive transients and variable sources in the universe, and has observed the development.
“It doesn’t end well for the star. The star gets violently pulled apart by the black hole’s gravitational tidal forces. The shreds of the star form a spinning disc around the black hole and are eventually consumed by it,” Varun Bhalerao, an astrophysicist at IIT Bombay, said. The results of the study have been published in the journal Nature.