The incredible spectacle of a star eating a black hole and exploding

Infrared Echoes of a Black Hole Eating a Star\ NASA

What happens if a star expands and eats a nearby black hole? Astronomers can approach these events in two ways. The first is, without a doubt, to create a theoretical model, trying to reconstruct, through all the notions we have, this very special event.

In this case, the model describes such a scene, which we will try to summarize as follows: in a binary system there are two stars that are burning all their fuel. The most massive one burns up first, becomes a supergiant, and then a supernova that explodes, creating a black hole. The other star is also dying and is now very close to a black hole. It also becomes a supergiant first, expanding disproportionately and encompassing the small object, which, however, as we know, is extremely compact and devours everything around it.

Now the black hole is inside the star and is starting to eat it up inside, and it is likely to orbit much faster than the other and therefore alter its internal material in this way as well. Then the star begins to sweep its gas envelope into space, casting a huge spiral around it. Grand finale: the black hole reaches the core of the star and, after a series of complicated events, creates a very short but powerful and very bright explosion that releases a lot of energy.

As we said at the beginning, events of this type are treated in two ways, the first is a theoretical model like the one you have just read, and the second is to go find a real event that can really remind us of a star eating a hole black.

This search has been carried out and in a file of this type of phenomena a bright flash of radio waves was found in a galaxy called: SDSS J121001 .38 + 495641.7 (named after the observatory that found it and its coordinates in the sky ), a dwarf galaxy just under 500 million light-years from Earth. The explosion was 100,000 times brighter than the Sun (try to imagine that). Of course, the cause may not be exactly a star hugging a black hole, but the two phenomena fit together well enough for further study.