Royal Astronomical Society published the details of two rare sights.
A tidal disruption is an event when a star is in the proximity of black hole, the gravitational pull from the black hole rips the star into thin streams. This process is known to be spaghettification. Some of the produced material falls into the black hole, generating a bright energy flare – easily detected by the astronomers.
The first sight was observed by an international team of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. They reported a blast of light radiated from a supermassive black hole located 215 million light-years away from the Earth.
Matt Nicholl and his team spotted the flare, AT2019qiz for 6 months using big guns of the telescope world. After that it, the flare faded away.
Matt Nicholl says, “The idea of a black hole sucking in a nearby star sounds like science fiction, but this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event. We were able to investigate in detail what happens when a star is eaten by such a monster.”
Further, he adds, “The observations showed that the star had roughly the same mass as our own Sun, and that it lost about half of that to the black hole, which is over a million times more massive.”
The second observation is confirmed by the Australian led team. They spotted Wolf Rayets – a pair of stars which produces carbon dust which is driven by the stellar winds. The two stars form a glowing tail thrugh the dust as they orbit one another.
The lead author of this paper research, Yinuo Han says, “The dust seems to have a mind of its own, floating along much slower than the extreme stellar winds that should be driving it.”
Two years ago, researchers for the University of Sydney found one more pair – 8000 light-years away – known to be Apep. These stars orbit each other every 125 years.