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More Images: A Giant Black Hole Destroys a Massive Star
Illustration & X-ray Spectrum of ASASSN-14li
NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/J. Miller et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
Click for large jpg Illustration with Spectrum

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Click for large jpg Illustration
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Click for large jpg Spectrum
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This artist’s illustration depicts the aftermath of the “tidal disruption event” (TDE) called ASASSN-14li, where a star was shredded after approaching too closely to a supermassive black hole. After the star was ripped apart, some of its gas (red) orbited around and fell into the black hole, while a portion of the gas was driven away in a wind (blue).

Scientists used an X-ray spectrum from Chandra to probe the elements contained in this wind, including the detection of nitrogen. The X-ray data indicates that the star in ASASSN-14li was about three times the mass of the Sun, making it one of the largest stars ever known to be destroyed in a TDE.

Return to: A Giant Black Hole Destroys a Massive Star (August 22, 2023)