Watch a black hole tear a star apart

watch a black hole tear star apart blackholesun

Created as part of a study by astronomers at Johns Hopkins University, the clip you see below this text is essentially a visualization of a phenomenon scientists had never before witnessed. Specifically, these astronomers managed to catch a black hole in the act of pulling apart a large, helium-rich star. While this kind of behavior has been well known for quite some time, this is the first time scientists have actually watched the entire process.

“This is the first time where we have so many pieces of evidence, and now we can put them all together to weigh the perpetrator — the black hole — and determine the identity of the unlucky star that fell victim to it,” said study lead Suvi Gezari. “These observations also give us clues to what evidence to look for in the future to find this type of event.”

Describing their work as similar to collecting clues at a crime scene, Gevari also believes this wealth of information will lend greater understanding to the as-yet-unknown workings of the universe as a whole. “We can measure at what rate stars are being disrupted by black holes as a function of the type of galaxy, measure the masses of the black holes, see what types of stars orbit black holes in the centers of galaxies, and try and better understand the evolution of galaxies over time,” Gevari said. “There’s a lot more to be done.”

That’s all well and good, but odds are solid that most of you clicked on this story specifically to see a star die. Thus, I direct your attention to the 26 seconds of footage below. Now, we’ll state up front that initially the clip doesn’t look like anything special, but once you comprehend what you’re actually seeing, it becomes far more awe-inspiring.

See that little blue-black dot in the upper-left corner? That’s the super-dense black hole. Nothing escapes from that, not even light. Now, notice all that orange swirly stuff? That’s the star, or more accurately, the stream of star remnants that the black hole is stripping from the unfortunate glowing sphere. Gezari’s team believes that the star had gone through the red giant phase of its existence, causing the thing to balloon to 100 times its original radius. Not only did this move it near enough the black hole to get caught in its massive gravitational pull, but this relatively rapid expansion also undermined the star’s own internal gravitational field. Thus weakened, it was only a matter of time before the entire thing was sucked into the pin point abyss.

Emerging Tech

Pairs of supermassive black holes spotted in colliding galaxies

Astronomers have discovered several pairs of supermassive black holes in galaxies that are colliding with each other. These black holes will spiral closer and closer together and eventually merge into one supermassive black hole.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover two rogue planets that do not orbit a star

Astronomers have identified two rogue planets in our galaxy which do not orbit around a star. Unlike the vast majority of discovered planets, these rogue planets drift through space alone with no sun to shine on them.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best tech gear and gadgetry that survived Shark Tank

The television show "Shark Tank" has churned out quite a few strange, interesting, and downright awesome products -- so we rounded up some of the best ones for your perusal. Enjoy!