Наблюдая за объектами, расположенными в 1,8 миллиарда световых лет от Земли, учёные увидели поглощение звезды чёрной дырой, длившееся десять лет. Обычно на это уходит менее года.

Событие было обнаружено в сравнительно небольшой галактике астрономами Университета Нью-Гэмпшира под руководством Лин Дачена. Наблюдения за тем, как чёрные дыры поглощают звёзды, ведутся с 1990 года. Нынешнее явление стало самым долгим в истории.

Для того, чтобы исследовать чёрные дыры, Лин и его команда используют информацию с орбитальных рентгеновских телескопов. В процессе поглощения чёрной дырой звезда не только нагревается на миллионы градусов, но и испускает вспышки рентгеновского излучения.

Мы наблюдали за захватывающе длинной смертью звезды, сказал Лин.

Его соавтор Джеймс Гиллохон подчеркнул, что внешне поглощение выглядело так, как будто звезда, массой вдвое больше Солнца быстро росла, а потом увяла и была окончательно поглощена. Полностью переварить её черная дыра сможет ещё примерно через десятилетие.


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