Want to see a star – like our sun – wander to close to a supermassive black hole and find itself ripped apart and destroyed? Well now you can by watching this video simulation from NASA that shows a star being ripped apart by a black hole weighing billions times more than it.
Don’t worry it only happens on the rare occasion. However, when it happens it’s pretty spectacular. This visual interpretation is based on evidence garnered by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope located in Hawaii. Here’s how NASA describes what you’re seeing:
Some of the stellar debris falls into the black hole and some of it is ejected into space at high speeds. The areas in white are regions of highest density, with progressively redder colors corresponding to lower-density regions. The blue dot pinpoints the black hole’s location. The elapsed time corresponds to the amount of time it takes for a Sun-like star to be ripped apart by a black hole a million times more massive than the Sun.
Via Open Culture
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