A supermassive black hole swallowed a star, ripping it apart and ejecting a unique beam of light from its center.
And a Scientific research report Astronomers said a previously unknown black hole became known to observers when a star passed too close and was gobbled up, astronomers said Wednesday.
Astronomers then observed a ray of the disaster’s “afterglow,” which experts are calling the Tidal Disruption Event (TDE), going straight ahead towards earth.
“The event began when an ill-fated star approached the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in a near-parabolic trajectory and was ruptured into a stream of gaseous debris,” says the scientific paper, published on 30/11. “About half The mass remained bound to the black hole, underwent a general relativistic apsid precession as the gas fell back to the pericenter, and then produced strong tremors at the self-intersection point.”
The scientists said the ejected beam – the AT2022cmc, or an “infrared/optical/ultraviolet light curve” – was initially red in color before decaying over four days and changing to a blue hue.
The astronomers added: “The optical and ultraviolet observations revealed a rapidly fading red ‘flare’ that quickly transitioned into a slow blue ‘plateau,’ allowing the study of two components produced by the tidal disturbance: the relativistic jet and the thermal component of bound stellar debris accumulating on the black hole.”
The blasted remains were so bright that astronomers spotted the TDE from the dwarf galaxy a million light years away.
The paper added: “Observations of a bright counterpart at other wavelengths, including X-ray, submillimeter and radio, support the interpretation of AT2022cmc as a jet TDE containing a synchrotron.”
The TDE was discovered in February. 2022 before the scientific news journal received the paper on it in April 2022 and the research was finally accepted in October 2022.
TDEs have been observed before, such as the AT 2020neh in June 2020.
Ryan J. Foley, co-author and UC Santa Cruz astronomer, said this first discovery would point the way for astronomers to find other TDEs and new dwarf galaxies.
“This discovery has garnered widespread attention because we can use tidal disturbances not only to find more intermediate masses black holes in quiet dwarf galaxies, but also to measure their masses,” Foley said in a paper co-released Nov. 10.
The discovery spanned years of research, when the distant galaxy was first observed in June 2020 and confirmed by data from the Young Supernova Experiment. It was observed again from July 1, 2020 to July 17, 2020; then from August 5, 2020 to September 6, 2020.
“Over 24 months of YSE operations, we have observed only one AT 2020neh-like event, monitoring fields for approximately 6 months at a time. This corresponds to one event per year within the YSE observation volume,” the scientific paper states.
These unique discoveries could lead to even more discoveries in distant galaxies that would otherwise be undetectable without visible light from the explosion.