Black Hole Devouring a Star Sends Huge Flash at Earth’s Night Sky

Black Hole Devouring a Star Sends Huge Flash at Earth’s Night Sky
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There are still plenty of conundrums surrounding black holes, but one thing’s for sure: these cosmic monsters don’t know what mercy is. Anything that gets too close to a black hole will be devoured by its infinite gravity, as it also happened in the case of a star located 8.5 billion light years away from Earth.

What’s perhaps even more frightening about the cosmic event is that it managed to send a huge flash to the night sky of Earth back in February. AT 2022cmc is the name of the signal resulting from the explosion of the star approaching the remote black hole, and it was first discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the California Institute of Technology.

The star was demolished

The star that got too close to the black hole in question was torn to shreds, resulting in a cataclysmic explosion that’s also known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). Such blasts can be detected across vast distances throughout the Cosmos. However, the event in question is the farthest one of its kind that was ever discovered by astronomers. A jet of material was ejected at nearly the speed of light due to the event. 

Astrophysicists claim that nothing can ever surpass the speed of light. If it somehow happens, the object that does it could be able to travel back in time, according to the famous physicist Albert Einstein.

Dr. Benjamin Gompertz, a co-author of the study, explained, as ScienceDaily quotes:

However, as bright as they are, there is only so much light a collapsing star can produce. Because AT 2022cmc was so bright and lasted so long, we knew that something truly gargantuan must be powering it – a supermassive black hole.

The new findings were reported in two papers – one of them was published in Nature while the other one appeared in Nature Astronomy.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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