Black Hole Feasts On White Dwarf; X-rays Show It Sucks Up All The Gases And Keeps The Star Close To Feed On
Black holes usually devour their prey in an instant, but experts have observed one taking its sweet time in enjoying its meal. One astronomer believes he may have spotted the doomed remains of a white dwarf star radiating the last of its light as an emergency signal. The massive predator, however, paid no heed to the distress calls of the tiny victim as it continued to shoot it back and forth around its orbit, eventually leading to its demise.
A white dwarf is most commonly born when a red giant exhausts all of its gases and is left with its bright, white core. This particular white dwarf, on the other hand, has had its gases sucked up by the nearby black hole. It's the cost of getting too close to the gravitational behemoth.
The breathtaking discovery
Andrew King, an author of the new research and currently working at the University of Leicester as an astrophysicist, said in a NASA statement that his interpretation of the data gathered, the white dwarf seemingly survived the encounter, but is now trapped in the clutches of the black hole where it continually orbits in an elliptical manner around the core averaging one round trip every nine hours.
The data was captured using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with help from the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray Telescope. The results show that every nine hours, a spike in x-ray emissions is observed by the equipment, leading to the theory of near-miss tidal disruption events.
The event occurs when a black hole rips a stray star that has come too close to shreds. The theory states that initially, a red giant star approached a little bit too close to the black hole, far enough not to be sucked in immediately, but close enough to have its gases pulled away from it.
The relatively small black hole (approximately 400,000 times the mass of our sun), however, wasn't strong enough to bring the fight to its end. It instead kept the star nearby with its gravity, saving it for every time it comes close enough to have its matter sucked up little by little.
The fate of the star is sealed because no matter how hard it tries to escape the black hole, it will never be strong enough to survive. King said the black hole would continue to eat the star bit by bit until it completely devours all of what's left of the cosmic body.
A doomed fate
The astronomer estimates the star, which is about one-fifth the mass of our sun, will spend trillions of years of its life being whittled down into a smaller size with a mass comparable to that of Jupiter. The expert added his amazement of how the process is a prolonged and arduous way for the universe to create a planet.
These occurrences are sporadic even in terms of astronomy, and scientists are amazed by the mere fact that it was observed at all. In astronomy, the event can also be visible only for a limited amount of time, relatively speaking, a short 2,000 years or so, experts said. Scientists believe there may be plenty of other events like this one that we have missed.
2 NASA Astronauts Are Home from ISS, Proving SpaceX Can Safely Bring People to and from Space
After a two-month mission, SpaceX brings back home 2 astronauts, proving that it could transport people to and from space safely.
NASA Astronauts To Conduct 2 More Spacewalks This Month
In an effort to finish upgrading the power system of the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken will conduct a pair of spacewalks Thursday, July 16, and Tuesday, July 21.
CEO Peter Beck’s Apology Has Elon Musk and Other Competitors Support After Launch Failure
After the failure of the 13th attempt to reach orbit with Electron, Rocket Labs CEO Peter Beck has given out a public apology on Twitter. This has led to competitors, which include Elon Musk, to offer their support.
[Watch] NASA Announces Week Update: What Happened to the Artemis Program?
Could we be closer to getting to the moon? NASA provides updates on the progress.
Are You A Fan Of Elon Musk's Rocket Company? Check These SpaceX Launch Memorabilia Out!
SpaceX has done a lot to forward humanity's progress towards space travel. You can get some memorabilia of SpaceX's launches on Amazon.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Adorama Announces ‘Creators GearUP’ College Student Discount Program
Adorama offers product discounts on top brands across all categories.
SpaceX to Launch a Modern Spaceport Resort in Texas
SpaceX is launching a spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas. The company is also looking for a spaceport manager to lead the establishment of the modern spaceport.
Microsoft Xbox Series X will launch in November, but Halo Infinite is pushed back to 2021
While you will enjoy the Xbox Series X sooner, you will have to wait a while longer for Halo Infinite until 2021.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Creators Exit Live-Action Adaptation, Netflix Still Confident of Remaining Creative Team
Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creative minds behind Avatar: The Last Airbender, will no longer work with Netflix on the live-action series adaptation due to creative differences.