Events like this not only is incredibly rare, but difficult to catch. NASA managed with state-of-the-art satellite and a network of robotic telescopes.
Have you ever wondered what a star looks like, how it is ripped apart by a black hole? Probably not.
But thanks to NASA and Ohio State University, you should not wonder at all.
According to Ohio radio station WOSU, a NASA satellite and a network of robotic telescopes known as All-Sky Automated Survey Supernovae – or ASAS-SN for short – is the university give astronomers an unexpected glimpse of cosmic epic battle back in January this year.
Thanks to NASA, we can now see computer-generated video of amazing – and scary event as it unfolded.
The supermassive black hole in question is estimated to weigh about 6 million times the mass of our sun and is located in the constellation Volans, some 375 million light years from Earth.
Thus, according to Science Signaling, what you see actually happened 375 million years ago, but the light is only reaching us now. Failure star was roughly the same size as our sun.
The event, known as tidal disruption event (TDE), is only rarely occur once every 10,000 to 100,000 years in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way, but also requires very specific conditions occur.
If a star wanders too close to the black hole, it will be sucked in without a trace.
If the star is too far, simply ricochet off the black hole and bounced off into space.
If it is in perfect distance, the star can be seen in part sucked into the black hole’s gravity dominated and eventually ripped difference. Some of that stellar material is then shot back into space as the rest remains trapped in a black hole.
“Imagine that you are standing on top of a skyscraper in the center of town, and you drop a marble from the top, and you are trying to get it to go down a hole in the manhole cover,” Chris Kochanek, professor of astronomy at Ohio State , State, said in a statement. “It’s harder than that.”
However, recent advances in technology allowed NASA scientists to achieve just that.
Apparently, NASA has tapped satellite, launched in July 2018, was revealed early signs of possible TDE.
The satellite is a large survey area covers an area of area 400 times larger than observed by the famous Kepler telescope.
Its four wide field cameras on board are able to scan various sectors sky days at a time.
This particular tidal disruption event was called ASASSN-19bt. The research team looked even for 42 days before reaching the light 37 days later.
“Only a handful of TDEs are detected before they reached the top of brightness and this was revealed just days after it began to look like,” said Thomas Holoien, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institute of Science.