Astronomers now focus on a new supermassive black hole that has caught their attention and for good reasons. If you’ve never heard the ‘ZTF20abrbeie’ moniker before, don’t worry, as there’s no shame in it! That is not the designation of a new AI chatbot, as you’re probably tempted to believe. It’s actually the name of a supermassive black hole that’s constantly aggressing a huge star that exists nearby.
Scientists also name the black hole in question as a ‘Scary Barbie’ due to its hunger for stellar mass. The process of devouring the nearby star qualifies as a so-called ‘spaghettification’ event, as CBS News reveals.
"Scary Barbie" the black hole first received a random name: ZTF20abrbeie. Its nickname came from the letters in the assigned name and its "terrifying" characteristics, said study co-author & @PurduePhysAstro assistant professor Danny Milisavljevic #ScaryBarbie #BarbieMovie pic.twitter.com/b60fJU4JJf
— Mindy Weisberger (@LaMinda) April 25, 2023
The black hole in question pulled in a star and ripped it apart, which means that basically, no simple space object in the Universe would make it out intact after coming anywhere close to the cosmic monster.
Danny Milisavljevic, who is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, stated as CBS News quotes:
If you take a typical supernova and multiply it a thousand times, we’re still not at how bright this is – and supernovas are among the most luminous objects in the sky,
This is the most energetic phenomenon I have ever encountered.
Black holes are well-known for their ability to destroy stars that come too close to them. The phenomenon happens because of the infinite gravity that black holes have. These cosmic monsters are of three types, and as you’ve probably guessed, supermassive black holes are the biggest ones.
Milisavljevic also stated, as CBS News quotes:
Discoveries like this really open our eyes to the fact that we are still uncovering mysteries and exploring wonders in the universe – things no one has ever seen before.
The new study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.