Scientists have discovered the closest a star-shredding black hole has ever come to Earth

Description of a star being ‘turbid’ by a supermassive black hole. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a star at the center of NGC 7392 was ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. Light from the black hole’s dinner light finally reached Earth in 2014 – and now astronomers have detected it in their data.

This newly discovered eruption from the center of NGC 7392 is the closest known example of a tidal perturbation event (TDE), in which a star is pulled in by the massive gravity of a black hole. The results were published on April 28 Astrophysical Journal Letters. (Opens in a new tab)

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