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Astronomers discover a massive black hole devouring stars

This illustration steps through the events that scientists think likely resulted in Swift J1644+57. Photo: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Swift

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA’s swift satellite has spotted a historic movement when a massive black hole swallowed a star, according to a study.

Astronomers got alerts from the satellite for the upcoming intense and unusual high-energy flares from the new source in the constellation Draco, said NASA.

"Incredibly, this source is still producing X-rays and may remain bright enough for Swift to observe into next year," David Burrows, professor of astronomy at Penn State University and lead scientist for the mission's X-Ray Telescope instrument said.

The research has been made public in August 25th issue of the scientific journal 'Nature.'

The supermassive black hole was some 3.9 billion years away from earth.

According to the new studies, the black hole in the galaxy hosting Swift J1644+57 may be twice the mass of the four-million-solar-mass black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. As a star falls toward a black hole, it is ripped apart by intense tides.

The gas is corralled into a disk that swirls around the black hole and becomes rapidly heated to temperatures of millions of degree.

The study was conducted by the X- and gamma-ray observations from Swift and other detectors, including the Japan-led Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) instrument. Detailed analysis of MAXI and Swift observations revealed that the X-ray came from a black hole located in the center of a galaxy sucking down a star.

The flares were first spotted by NASA on March 28th, it said.


NASA  star  Blackhole  

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