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article imageBlack hole eradicates star, blasts 3.8 billion light-year beam

By Andrew Moran     Jun 20, 2011 in Science
Warwick - Scientists at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom have observed a gargantuan black hole that ripped apart a sun-like star that wandered too close. This created a beam that crossed 3.8 billion light-years to Earth.
A black hole is a part of space where nothing, including photons of light, can escape. Quantum physics states that black holes can emit radiation. Scientists are discovering black holes all the time and some are absolutely enormous.
Most galaxies contain a black hole and some of them have a black hole in the middle of the galaxy. The black hole absorbs gas and actually emits particle jets that can reach millions and millions of light-years.
In the galaxy of Centaurus A, otherwise identified as NGC 5128, a supermassive black hole is at the center of it. The black hole has jets extending 13,000 light-years and emits X-ray and radio wavelengths.
Researchers at the University of Warwick recently published results in the journal Science. In their paper entitled “An Extremely Luminous Panchromatic Outburst from the Nucleus of a Distant Galaxy,” scientists discovered a large black hole that devoured a nearby star, which created high-energy gamma rays and X-rays at bright levels for weeks.
When the scientists viewed the incident at infrared and optical wavelengths, the beam was as bright as a hundred billion suns. The flash of energy was pointed towards the Milky Way galaxy and into a small fraction of the sky located 3.8 billion light-years away.
The incident occurred at the heart of its galaxy, which is believed to be far away and possibly located in the constellation Draco.
“Despite the power of this the cataclysmic event we still only happen to see this event because our solar system happened to be looking right down the barrel of this jet of energy,” said Scientist in the university’s department of physics, Dr. Andrew Levan.
“The best explanation that so far fits the size, intensity, time scale, and level of fluctuation of the observed event, is that a massive black at the very centre of that galaxy has pulled in a star and ripped it apart by tidal disruption. The spinning black hole then created the two jets one of which pointed straight to earth.”
The black hole’s monstrous appetite and its flash (Swift 1644+57) were originally found by NASA’s Swift Burst Alert Telescope in late March.
More about Black hole, university of warwick, journal science, An Extremely Luminous Panchromatic Outburst from t, Gamma rays
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