The impending death of a star once it gets too close to a black hole can actually represent a beautiful footage. It’s surely tragic for the star itself and for any possible inhabitants of planets nearby, but things go just like they do in Einstein’s relativity: the outcome is relative to the beholder.
One supermassive black hole slowly devours a star located at 215 million light-years away, and we’re free to feast our eyes on an artistic animation and representation of it uploaded by the European Southern Observatory:
This animation depicts a star experiencing spaghettification as it’s sucked in by a supermassive black hole during a ‘tidal disruption event’. In a new study, done with the help of ESO’s Very Large Telescope and ESO’s New Technology Telescope, a team of astronomers found that when a black hole devours a star, it can launch a powerful blast of material outwards.
Of course, the term ‘spaghettification’ in this case may sound ridiculous to many, but it’s still a pretty good term for describing what’s going on with the star. The cosmic object’s mass slowly gets sucked in by the enormous gravity of the black hole. Just like any other black hole, this one absorbs even light with its unfathomable gravity.
Black holes had captured the attention of many astronomers over the years for their unique traits, and there is still a lot to learn about these cosmic monsters. Sir Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford in the U.K. recently received one-half of the Nobel Prize for discovering that a formation of a black hole is a robust prediction of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany and the University of Bonn, had to share the other half of the Nobel Prize. These two scientists discovered a supermassive compact object positioned at the center of our galaxy. While Penrose will receive half of the $1.2 million Nobel Prize, Ghez and Genzel will have to split the other half.