Black Hole Rips Apart A Nearby Star

Oct 25, 2015 By Jake Brannon

While this video looks absolutely stunning, you probably find yourself wondering what in the world is happening. We'll do our best to paraphrase NASA's comprehensive, and extremely complex, explanation of this phenomenon. What you are seeing here are "tidal disruptions" as a star is torn apart by a black hole that it got too close to. When this happens, the majority of the star's mass is pulled towards the black hole in the form of filaments which later become a smooth disk that is easily visible in x-rays. 

The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae observed portions of a tidal disruption entitled ASASSN-14li in November 2014. The black hole that caused this disruption resides in PGC 043234, a galaxy about 290 million light-years away from our own. Based on the information NASA recorded, an artist designed this rendition of the tidal disruption in action.

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