Astronomers Observe Star Being ‘Spaghettified’ by a Supermassive Black Hole

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Artist’s impression of a star undergoing spaghettification near a supermassive black hole.

Artist’s impression of a star undergoing spaghettification near a supermassive black hole.
Image: ESO

A star 215 million light-years away has been obliterated by a supermassive black hole, making it the closest observation to date of stellar spaghettification.

Spaghettification doesn’t sound very scientific, but it’s a fairly accurate description of what actually happens.

A doomed star caught in the orbit of a supermassive black hole will eventually hit a kind of gravitational sweet spot that turns everything to shit. No longer capable of keeping its physical integrity, the star begins to rapidly collapse in a process known as a fast-evolving tidal disruption event. When this happens, stellar debris bursts out from the star, forming a long, thin stream, half of which gets sucked toward the black hole; the other half is blown back into space. The thin stream eventually catches up to and slams into itself, releasing energy and forming an accretion disc. If that’s hard to visualize, here’s a video showing the process:

The destruction produces a bright flash of light, which astronomers can observe on Earth. A few of these events are captured each year, but new research published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society describes the nearest case of stellar spaghettification ever recorded, at 215 million light-years away. The event, designated AT2019qiz, was chronicled last year, and it appeared at the core of a spiral galaxy located in the Eridanus constellation. The unfortunate star was roughly the same size as our Sun, and it was torn apart by a supermassive black hole roughly 1 million times the Sun’s mass.

The event was initially captured by the Zwicky Transient Facility, with follow-up observations done with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the ESO New Technology Telescope, and Harvard & Smithsonian’s MMT Observatory, among other

Color Star Technology in Development of Offline Music Festival Series

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NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Color Star Technology Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq CM: CSCW) (the “Company”, or “Color Star”), a company engaged in the businesses of providing online and offline paid knowledge services for the media, entertainment and culture industries globally, announced today that it plans to launch “Color World”-branded offline music festival series (the “Festival Series”), furthering the Company’s aspirations to build “Color World” into a leading entertainment-centric paid knowledge services platform which connects musicians, artists and celebrities with its growing bases of fans, followers and users. The Company is currently in discussion with multiple well-established music festival brands to co-organize up to 30 music festivals with different genres over the next five years in different cities across Asia and beyond.   

“As receding COVID-19 pandemic allows China and most Asian countries to gradually get back to normal, so will be the demand for outdoor music festivals in these countries. Music festivals have gained increasing popularity in China and other Asian countries in recent years, often attracting tens of thousands of participants who use it as social venues to enjoy not only live performances but also other attractions such as food, merchandise vending, and other social or cultural activities. The Festival Series, combined with our online offerings such as online concerts, courses, “star teacher”- fan meetings, and our soon-to-be launched online celebrity merchandise store, will add fuel to the fire for our already rapidly expanding user base,” said Luke Lu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Color Star.

About Color Star Technology

Color Star Technology Co, Ltd. (Nasdaq CM: CSCW) offers online and offline paid knowledge services for media, entertainment and culture industries globally. Its business operations are conducted through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Color China Entertainment Ltd. and CACM Group NY, Inc. The Company’s online education is

New research suggests innovative method to analyse the densest star systems in the Universe

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New research suggests innovative method to analyse the densest star systems in the Universe
Artist’s illustration of supernova remnant Credit: Pixabay

In a recently published study, a team of researchers led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) at Monash university suggests an innovative method to analyse gravitational waves from neutron star mergers, where two stars are distinguished by type (rather than mass), depending on how fast they’re spinning.


Neutron stars are extremely dense stellar objects that form when giant stars explode and die—in the explosion, their cores collapse, and the protons and electrons melt into each other to form a remnant neutron star.

In 2017, the merging of two neutron stars, called GW170817, was first observed by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors. This merger is well-known because scientists were also able to see light produced from it: high-energy gamma rays, visible light, and microwaves. Since then, an average of three scientific studies on GW170817 have been published every day.

In January this year, the LIGO and Virgo collaborations announced a second neutron star merger event called GW190425. Although no light was detected, this event is particularly intriguing because the two merging neutron stars are significantly heavier than GW170817, as well as previously known double neutron stars in the Milky Way.

Scientists use gravitational-wave signals—ripples in the fabric of space and time—to detect pairs of neutron stars and measure their masses. The heavier neutron star of the pair is called the ‘primary’; the lighter one is ‘secondary’.

The recycled-slow labelling scheme of a binary neutron star system

A binary neutron star system usually starts with two ordinary stars, each around ten to twenty times more massive than the Sun. When these massive stars age and run out of ‘fuel’, their lives end in supernova explosions that leave behind compact remnants, or neutron stars. Each remnant neutron star weighs around

Scientists Watch a Black Hole Eat a Star

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  • Astronomers have witnessed a tidal disruption event, where a star whose material was shredded by a nearby supermassive black hole releases an bright flash of light.
  • The TDE is helping scientists understand more about the gruesome spaghettification process.
  • The flare occurred just 215 million light-years away from Earth, closer than any other previously observed tidal disruption event.

    Astronomers have spotted a rare and radiant pulse of light—the last gasp of a dying star that has been sucked toward the center of a supermassive black hole and shredded into sinuous strings of stardust. This process is delightfully called spaghettification, but make no mistake: it’s gruesome.

    🌌 You love our badass universe. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

    “When a black hole devours a star, it can launch a powerful blast of material outwards that obstructs our view,” Samantha Oates, an astronomer at the University of Birmingham, said in a statement. “This happens because the energy released as the black hole eats up stellar material propels the star’s debris outwards.”

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    The researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope and New Technology Telescope in Chile, the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network, and the Neil Gehrel’s Swift Satellite to monitor the flare, which they dubbed AT2019qiz. They tracked AT2019qiz for six months, making observations in optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and radio, as it brightened and then eventually faded. The scientists published their findings in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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    Astronomers witness star being “turned into spaghetti” by black hole

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    Researchers found that when a star is "spaghettified" a blast of material is launched outwards (ESO)
    Researchers found that when a star is “spaghettified” a blast of material is launched outwards (ESO)

    Astronomers have witnessed the final moments of a star being devoured by a supermassive black hole – and it’s not pretty.

    A blast of light from 215 million light years away from Earth allowed astronomers to study the “tidal disruption event” in unprecedented detail.

    Stars that wander too close to vast supermassive black holes are shredded (“spaghettified”) into thin streams of material, which are in turn devoured, releasing flashes of light.

    Matt Nicholl, a Royal Astronomical Society research fellow and lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said: “The idea of a black hole ‘sucking in’ a nearby star sounds like science fiction. 

    “But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event.”

    Read more: Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth

    Thomas Wevers, a European Space Observatory (ESO) fellow in Santiago, Chile, said: “When an unlucky star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole in the centre of a galaxy, the extreme gravitational pull of the black hole shreds the star into thin streams of material.”

    Although powerful and bright, up to now astronomers have had trouble investigating this burst of light, which is often obscured by a curtain of dust and debris.

    The researchers said that when a black hole devours a star, it launches a powerful blast of material outwards, that can obstruct our view.

    But they were able to get a clear, unobstructed view, as they caught the event extremely early.

    “Because we caught it early, we could actually see the curtain of dust and debris being drawn up as the black hole launched a powerful outflow of material with velocities up to 10,000 kilometres per second,” said Kate Alexander, NASA Einstein fellow at Northwestern University in the US.