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Black Hole Tore Apart and Swallowed a Star

24 May 2016, 22:00 UTC
Black Hole Tore Apart and Swallowed a Star
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Sun-like stars, white dwarfs and giant stars can be wholly swallowed by black holes with masses greater than ~100 million, ~100 thousand and ~10 billion times the mass of the Sun, respectively. When a star is wholly swallowed by a black hole, no flares will be observed. In contrast, for a black hole that is not massive enough to swallow a star whole, a tidal disruption flare can be generated. A star approaching such a black hole on a low angular momentum orbit can be torn apart by tidal forces and a fraction of the star's mass can form an accretion disk around the black hole, powering a tidal disruption flare.XMMSL1J063045.9603110 is a candidate tidal disruption event. This event was first detected in X-rays with an underlying soft X-ray thermal emission. Twenty days later, XMMSL1J063045.9603110 was again detected with soft X-ray thermal emission, this time ~10 times dimmer than when it was first detected. The X-ray emission over time appears to be consistent with the presence of an accretion disk around a black hole. In this case, the accretion disk represents a fraction of the material left over from a tidally disrupted star that got swallowed by the black hole.Depending ...

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