Purdue: Uncovering a Star’s Demise

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Purdue: Uncovering a Star’s Demise

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 30, 2023 3:50 am

Uncovering a Star’s Demise: Supermassive Black Hole Tears Apart a Giant Star in
a Display Brighter, More Energetic and Longer Lasting Than Any Observed Before

Purdue University | 2023 Apr 25
A distant star, dying a fiery and dramatic death, torn apart by a supermassive black hole in a forgotten corner of the sky. One of the most luminous, energetic, long-lasting transient objects didn’t blaze through the night sky inspiring legends and launching civilizations. Instead, astronomers, acting as celestial supersleuths, uncovered evidence of the star’s death throes where it had hidden undetected for years in a mass of computer-gathered telescope data.

“It's absurd. If you take a typical supernova and multiply it a thousand times, we're still not at how bright this is – and supernovas are among the most luminous objects in the sky,” said Danny Milisavljevic ... “This is the most energetic phenomenon I have ever encountered.”

In astronomy, things that are the most luminous are often the most energetic. Milisavljevic, an expert on stellar life cycles – especially star death – noted that the data points to an extremely anomalous observation.

The object, like all those observed, was assigned a random name when it was discovered. Its name is ZTF20abrbeie, or, as astronomers affectionately call it, “Scary Barbie.” Barbie for its alphanumeric designation and “scary” because, Milisavljevic said, “It’s so much of an outlier; its characteristics are terrifying!” ...

Scary Barbie: An Extremely Energetic, Long-Duration Tidal Disruption
Event Candidate Without a Detected Host Galaxy at z = 0.995
~ Bhagya M. Subrayan et al
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