Mar 01, 2017 04:59 AM EST
University Of Sheffield Scientists Observe Black Hole Eating Giant Star [Video]
Scientists at the University of Sheffield were able to observe a black hole in the process of eating a giant star. It has been gnawing at the enormous star for more than 10 years. This could be the longest period for a black hole to eat a star.
The black hole is 1.8 billion light years from Earth. It stated taking bites on the star in 2005. As it began to shred the star into pieces and devour it, the light coming from the star became brighter.
A "tidal disruption event" caused this. The tidal force coming from the gravity of the black hole destroyed the object that came within the range of its gravity. This happened when galaxies collided with each other. Scientists from the University of Sheffield believed that the star could be several times bigger than the sun. This explains why it was not consumed after 10 years, according to Science News.
In addition, scientists from the University of Sheffield observed that the black hole was growing bigger and bigger as it continued eating the giant star. This answered the question asked by scientists on why black holes were so big that they were bigger than the sun.
"Tidal Disruption Event" or TDE was believed to occur very rarely. However, the astronomers from the University of Sheffield y used powerful instruments to observe the sky. This helped them find out that this was a frequent phenomenon among galaxies. When galaxies collide, a huge number of stars could be thrown closer to the black hole until it pulled one or several of them, according to Science Alert.
If black holes grow bigger every time they eat a giant star, their size could expand as years passed by. An enormous one spanning the universe could be a threat to all the galaxies. There would be a big possibility that the Milky Way, the galaxy where the solar system is found, might be captured as well.
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