215 million light-years away from the earth, a star was engulfed by a massive black hole

There are countless kinds of celestial bodies in the universe, including stars, planets and other celestial bodies. If you want to ask which of these celestial bodies is the most powerful and terrifying, I believe many people will think of black holes.

Yes, black hole is the dominant object in the universe known by human beings. Its gravity is so great that any matter can not escape as long as it enters it, even light is no exception. Black hole can be said to be the most special object discovered by human beings since they came out of the earth to explore the universe.


Maybe some friends will ask, black holes can even devour light, how do humans find and prove its existence? In fact, in the early days of black hole, it was just a kind of celestial body conjectured by scientists according to the theory of general relativity. I believe everyone knows very well how great Einstein’s theory of relativity is.

In 1916, German astronomer Karl Schwarzenegger obtained a vacuum solution of Einstein’s field equation by calculation. This solution shows that if the actual radius of a static spherically symmetric star is less than a fixed value, there will be a strange phenomenon around it, that is, there is an interface – “Horizon”. Once it enters this interface, even light cannot escape. This fixed value is called Schwarzschild radius. This “incredible celestial body” is named “black hole” by American physicist John Archibald Wheeler.

Although the black hole is a special celestial body that scientists conjectured at the beginning, with the continuous progress of human science and technology, the existence of black hole has been observed. How did scientists observe such a powerful celestial body that even light can swallow?


Yes, the gravity of a black hole is too strong to imagine. Once a star, planet or light enters its “Horizon”, it means that it can’t escape and will eventually be swallowed up. We can’t see hair holes without light escaping.

It is precisely because of the powerful phagocytic ability of black holes that it is difficult for them to really hide themselves, especially the massive black holes. Because they are too powerful, when they phagocytize stars, they often leave very bright traces, which scientists call accretion disks.


The center of the accretion disk is the black hole. We can’t see the true face of the black hole, but we can see the bright accretion disk around it. By observing the accretion disk, we can know that there is a massive black hole there.

Although we know that accretion disks are formed by black holes devouring stars, it is very difficult to observe the process of stars being devoured by black holes. Only by observing the process of black holes devouring stars, can we have a better understanding of black holes.

Since September 19, 2019, scientists have been very lucky to observe the process of a star falling into a supermassive black hole and being engulfed. In this phagocytosis process, the energy burst out reached 10 billion times of the sun, which is a spectacular cosmic feast. The event was named at2019qiz by scientists. At that time, telescopes from all over the world saw this spectacular celestial phenomenon.


The event took place in the direction of Jiangbo, about 215 million light-years away from the earth. There is a black hole with a mass of 1 million times that of the sun, and the diameter of the event horizon reaches 6 million kilometers, which is more than four times the diameter of the sun. The event horizon of the black hole, which used to be relatively calm, is boiling because of the intrusion of a star.

Supermassive black holes devour stars very fast. When the star is 70 million kilometers away from the black hole, it is pulled by the strong gravity of the black hole. The gravity on the outside and inside of the star is different, so a huge tidal gravity difference is formed. At this time, the star is like ramen, which is gradually pulled into a slender “noodle”.


In addition to such gravitational pull, the outer shell material of the star is constantly torn up, and the violent friction of the material produces a lot of energy. Some of them fall into the black hole through rotation, and some of them rotate rapidly under the action of a strong magnetic field. After they turn to the two poles of the black hole, they are thrown out at high speed to form a bright light.

These bright lights are high-energy radiation, including visible light, external lines and X-rays. The event peaked on October 8, when scientists estimated that the energy emitted by the black hole was as high as 10 billion times that of the sun. The whole star is pulled by the gravity of the black hole, half of the matter is swallowed, and half of the matter is ejected at high speed to form huge bubbles.

This is also an evolution of material into energy, and the conversion rate of nuclear fusion of the sun is only 0.7%, but in the process of the black hole devouring stars, the conversion rate has reached 10% to 40%, which shows how powerful it is, worthy of being the overlord of the universe.


This observation experience not only gives us a better understanding of how black holes devour matter, but also gives us another insight into the horror of black holes. If the sun one day in the process of movement, but also into the gravitational range of massive black holes, then it is possible to embark on the same fate as that star.

And stars often do not move alone, in addition to its motion, there is often a stellar system. We don’t know whether there are planets around the star swallowed by the black hole 215 million light-years away. If there are planets around the star, which is the main star of a stellar system, and there are living planets and even civilizations in the habitable zone, it is estimated that they will also be swallowed by the black hole.


In front of the black hole, any celestial body and matter are so weak. Although the solar system is 25000 light-years away from the black hole in the center of the galaxy, you don’t have to worry about being swallowed up by it one day. But let’s not forget that, in addition to the supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies, there are more middle and small mass black holes in the universe.

The accretion disks of medium and small black holes are often not obvious, or even have no accretion disks. In this case, the black hole is completely invisible in front of us. We are not sure that there is no such medium and small mass black hole around the solar system. If there is such a black hole, it is still a great threat to the solar system. Once these small black holes grow up and become a big black hole, it is difficult for the solar system to escape the fate of being engulfed.

If this day comes, human beings want to get rid of the fate of being swallowed, then they have to leave the solar system and the black hole. To achieve this goal, we need to become an interstellar civilization and have the ability of interstellar navigation. Therefore, human beings need to make more efforts to develop science and technology rapidly and become an interstellar civilization as soon as possible.

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