When black holes go on a star-eating rampage | world | Hindustan Times
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When black holes go on a star-eating rampage

A new research indicates that when two galaxies collide, it causes the black holes at their cores to spiral toward each other, merge, then go on a rampage of star-eating.

world Updated: Apr 11, 2011 23:33 IST

A new research indicates that when two galaxies collide, it causes the black holes at their cores to spiral toward each other, merge, then go on a rampage of star-eating.

The merger kicks the resulting monster black hole into surrounding stars. There, the black hole shreds and swallows stars at a rapid clip.

The research by Nick Stone and Avi Loeb suggests that an upcoming sky survey might offer astronomers a way to catch a gorging black hole “in the act”.

“Essentially, the black hole can go from starving to enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet,” said Stone.

When tidal forces rip a star apart, its remains will spiral around the black hole, smashing and rubbing together, heating up enough to shine in the ultraviolet or X-rays. The black hole will glow as brightly as an exploding star, or supernova, before gradually fading in a distinctive way.