Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 9 years ago

Has anyone read this report of a star being consumed by a black hole?

I ask because of the image in this link.

It clearly isn't anything to do with an X-ray image of a distant galaxy. It looks like a stylized image from a doco on black holes I watched some years ago, which showed how a black hole may distort the background. (Anyone remember it?) That's just our own night sky in the background, isn't it?


The SMH isn't a provincial tabloid. It concerns me that there seems to be a fault line between print news and online news. I can't see anything like that being tried in the broadsheet version of the paper. Anyone with media experience know if there's a general poor attitude towards sources and information in web-based news outlets? I know we've all read the howlers from Yahoo News et al, but is there a problem even in the biggies, like NYT online?

Update 2:

Just after that last edit, I saw they'd changed the caption. At first, it said that it was an image showing the event itself, which it clearly wasn't. It's the standard of web "journalism" that worries me, as this is a reputable news outlet.

3 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    There's no star being destroyed in that "artist's impression". It shows what the gravitational lensing might look like very close to a stellar-sized black hole. If it was ripping a star apart, the radiation would cook anything even near that distance, mostly with x-rays and gamma-rays but with huge amounts of visible light as well. A black hole's accretion disk is actually the most energetic thing in the universe, with a 40% mass-to-energy conversion rate. Most likely they just found an already existing artist's impression of something else and used that, thinking no one would be the wiser or care if they were. The article itself is a little sketchy on details, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

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  • Yeah I saw something in the documentary "Who's Afraid of a Big Black Hole?" which I think showed two stars or galaxies which were identical but it was the same one as the light had been bent around a black hole making one star/galaxy look like two.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    i saws 1 with my own 2 eyes

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