Scientists discover that tidal destruction of stars by black holes is happening everywhere

Almost all of the 100 or so cases of tidal destruction of stars by black holes known to science were recorded in galaxies where the star-forming process had recently completed. Such processes do not occur in other types of galaxies, but as new research has shown, we simply did not know how to spot such phenomena. US astronomers have given an example of how cases of “brutal retribution” of black holes by stars can be detected everywhere.

When a star gets dangerously close to a black hole, it loses much of its material in a process called tidal destruction. The star’s material forms a disk around the black hole, triggering a material accumulation process, or material falling into the black hole. Gravity, friction, and heating of the material cause a release of energy from both the interior of the accretion disk and the black hole’s poles, and material from the disk is thrown around by the object’s powerful magnetic field. We record these energy emissions primarily in the optical and X-ray fields. Astronomers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed looking for the phenomenon of tidal destruction of stars by black holes in the infrared region. The official announcement of the first detection of such an event in the infrared spectrum was made in April 2023. This method was proven to be viable and was adopted. And this led to an avalanche of discoveries. A search for observation data from NASA’s NEOWISE infrared telescope and subsequent analysis of candidates using data from several ground-based telescopes revealed 18 previously unknown phenomena of tidal destruction of stars by black holes. became. Six of these were later discarded because they were linked to black hole activity at the center of the galaxy. However, 12 events were identified with high confidence and were all discovered for the first time. What’s more, all 12 new tidal disruption events recorded in infrared observations were discovered in a previously undiscovered location: within dusty galaxies. Previously, it appeared that such phenomena could not be detected because the dust blocked the optical and X-ray range. Until now, no one had looked for such phenomena in the infrared region.

It turns out that tidal disturbances in stars can actually occur in any type of galaxy and at any stage of its evolution. Firstly, we can forget about the problem of the discrepancy between the number of these events in the theory and the number of these events in the observation process (the observed number is lower than predicted and no explanation for it is currently found). Masu). Second, scientists now have more data to comprehensively study the physics of tidal disruption in stars, which provides new insights into cosmic processes and advances science. will become rich.