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Astrobites at AAS 235: Day 1

6 Jan 2020, 17:00 UTC
Astrobites at AAS 235: Day 1
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Welcome to the winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Honolulu, Hawai’i! Astrobites is attending the conference as usual, and we will report highlights from each day here. If you’d like to see more timely updates during the day, we encourage you to search the #aas235 hashtag on twitter. We’ll be posting once a day during the meeting, so be sure the visit the site often to catch all the news!
Hubble image of the giant spiral galaxy UGC 2885, nicknamed “Rubin’s Galaxy” after astronomer Vera Rubin. [NASA, ESA, and B. Holwerda (University of Louisville)]
Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture: Black Holes Snacking on Stars: A Systematic Exploration of Transients in Galaxy Nuclei (by Mike Zevin)In the kickoff plenary of #AAS235, Suvi Gezari (University of Maryland) got us ready for breakfast by illuminating the stellar snacks of black holes. Just like how the tidal forces of the Moon stretch and squeeze the Earth (giving us, for example, high and low tides on Waikiki beach), black holes exert tidal forces on stellar bystanders. Particularly unlucky stars can be ripped apart entirely by the black hole, leading to a so-called tidal disruption event (TDE). This happens when a star enters the black hole’s ...

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