Chilling Video - Murder of star captured on video
What you’re about to see is really cool - or hot, if you’re a physicist. NASA scientists have published a video that shows a star being devoured by a black hole. The video was recorded using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawai’i, and NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer space telescope.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the video, a red supergiant star wanders a bit too close to a supermassive black hole in the heart of a galaxy some 2.7 billion light-years distant. The immense gravity of the black hole violently shreds the star and sends its remnants flying across space.
Black holes, once the realm of science fiction after being predicted by early physicists, and demonstrated possible by Einstein, are real objects of incredible mass and power. They are typically formed when very large, massive stars die.
Stars are gigantic balls of (mostly) hydrogen gas. They are kept “inflated” and shining by the immense pressure in their cores which causes hydrogen atoms to fuse together into helium - the same reaction that takes place in a fusion (hydrogen) bomb. The effect of these billions of explosions occurring every second is a bright, shining star, of which our sun is a typical example.
After billions of years, all the hydrogen is eventually fused into heavier and heavier elements. Eventually the process stops because there are no more elements which can be explosively fused. When that moment arrives, the body of the star collapses into itself. If the star is large enough, many times the mass of our sun, that collapsing process can cascade to the point the star becomes a black hole, a tiny object (comparatively speaking) whose gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape it.
Black holes are called such because they reflect and emit no light - but they can be detected by a variety of other means. For example, when a star passes too close and is shredded by their gravity.
See the video at the link.