In a high stakes game of putt putt golf in space, NASA researchers knocked eight simulated stars onto a giant road. Black Hole.. The four stars survived the encounter unscathed — perhaps a little out of shape, but still held together by their own gravitational strength.
And what about the other 4 stars? Now, let’s say spaghetti will be the only dish on the menu for the time being.
This new simulation, led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, aimed to answer big questions. What does a star need to survive a close encounter with one of the most destructive objects in nature?
To find the answer, the team used a realistic stellar density model to create eight test dummy stars, each with a different weight and density, within 24 million miles (38 million kilometers, or part of it). I set it in orbit. A fraction of 1 Light year) A black hole that is one million times larger than the sun.
Stars so close to a black hole are at risk of being victims of tidal disruption events. In essence, it’s a fancy name when the overwhelming gravity of a black hole shreds a star into the spaghetti strands of the universe. The spaghetti-ized star matter becomes part of the black hole’s accretion disk (the circle of matter that swirls around the black hole’s horizon) and is eventually swallowed by hungry monsters.
How to avoid this terrifying fate? Some may think that large and heavy stars are more likely to escape the black hole pull because they lose more material before they completely collapse. However, new simulations have shown that this is not always the case. The four stars that survived the close encounter with the black hole had masses ranging from 0.15 to exactly one solar mass. On the other hand, the torn star had a mass somewhere between 0.4 and 10 solar masses. Ultimately, there was no significant difference between large and small stars in terms of survival.
An important factor for a star to survive was density. All four stars, safely out of the orbit of the black hole and partially destroyed in shape, are dense and more densely packed with more matter than the spaghetti-ized stars.
The good news is the modeled star EarthThe sun was in the surviving group. (Our sun orbit does not take our host closer to the black hole. Known black hole closest to the earth It’s about 1,500 light-years away). But the better, more annoying news (for astronomers and astronomy nerds anyway) is that scientists have a clearer understanding of how tidal disruptors occur and are getting too close to black holes and them. It means that it may make them easier to detect when studying unfortunate stars.
Originally published in Live Science.
Watch a black hole tear four stars into pieces in a spectacular new NASA simulation
Source link Watch a black hole tear four stars into pieces in a spectacular new NASA simulation