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Contact: Faith Singer
faith@tacc.utexas.edu
512-232-5771
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Black Hole Caught Red-handed in a Stellar Homicide

Caption: Somewhere in the cosmos an ordinary galaxy spins, seemingly at slumber. Then all of a sudden, WHAM! A flash of light explodes from the galaxy's center. A star orbiting too close to the event horizon of the galaxy's central supermassive black hole is torn apart by the force of gravity, heating up its gas and sending out a beacon to the far reaches of the universe.

Credit: NASA; S. Gezari (The Johns Hopkins University) and J. Guillochon (University of California, Santa Cruz)

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Related news release: Cosmic slurp


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