by Rachel Feltman
Astronomers have caught black holes in the act of murdering stars before. But a study published Thursday in Science claims to have caught a step in the crime that has remained elusive until now.
In addition to catching evidence of the star’s destruction — an inevitable death caused by the massive, inescapable gravitational pull of a dense supermassive black hole — the scientists saw a hot flare of matter escape from the scene of the crime.
You can basically think of it as a hot plasma burp.
The researchers say this is the first time anyone has successfully picked up the radio signal produced by this jet of escaping matter. These black hole jets have been seen before, but they’ve never been directly linked to a star being torn apart — and the phenomenon remains pretty mysterious.
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