CXC: Shredded Star Leads to Important Black Hole Discovery

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CXC: Shredded Star Leads to Important Black Hole Discovery

Post by bystander » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:31 pm

Shredded Star Leads to Important Black Hole Discovery
NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-Ray Observatory | 2019 Jan 09
In a galaxy far away, a star wandered too close to a giant black hole and was ripped apart by immense gravitational tidal forces. This catastrophe triggered a burst of light first observed in late 2014. Now astronomers have estimated how quickly that supermassive black hole is spinning, a fundamental trait of these exotic objects that has been hard to pin down.

The optical outburst was detected on November 22, 2014 in a galaxy 290 million light years from Earth by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASASSN), a network of telescopes that gives the source its name, ASASSN-14li. After the detection, astronomers used other telescopes including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift observatory, to study the X-rays emitted as the remains of the star swirl toward the black hole.

The combined observations revealed a rise and fall in X-ray brightness that repeats every 131 seconds, which is likely associated with hot gas orbiting very near the point of no return, called the black hole event horizon. The radius of the black hole event horizon depends on the geometry of space-time around a black hole, which depends on the mass of the black hole and how rapidly it is spinning. Spacetime itself rotates for a spinning black hole, and this is what drags material around it. ...

XMM-Newton Captures Final Cries of Star Shredded by Black Hole
ESA | Space Science | Science & Technology | XMM-Newton | 2019 Jan 09

X-ray Pulse Detected Near Event Horizon as Black Hole Devours Star
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | 2019 Jan 09

A Loud Quasi-Periodic Oscillation after a Star is Disrupted by a Massive Black Hole ~ Dheeraj R. Pasham et al
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