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Based in greater Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska enjoys venturing outdoors at night to look at the night sky. Valerie Varnuska is passionate about astronomy and the beauty that the universe has to offer.

In November of 2015, a team of astrophysicists reported that it had witnessed the consumption of a star by a su… Read More
Based in greater Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska enjoys venturing outdoors at night to look at the night sky. Valerie Varnuska is passionate about astronomy and the beauty that the universe has to offer.

In November of 2015, a team of astrophysicists reported that it had witnessed the consumption of a star by a supermassive black hole. The team received word of the star's imminent destruction close to the end of 2014, and this early notice allowed the participants to train a series of telescopes on the event. Throughout the subsequent months, 14 scientists from around the world watched as the black hole swallowed the star, tearing it to pieces, then emitted a fast-moving jet of plasma.

This relatively rare event, in which a black hole at the center of a galaxy consumes a star, has confirmed pre-existing hypotheses about what happens when a black hole quickly consumes large amounts of gas. Although the gravity field of a black hole is so strong that gas, matter, and light are typically unable to escape, the quantity of gas in an entire star allows particles in its magnetic field to escape from the star's center. The full process of star consumption, however, remains largely a mystery. Scientists hope to use this recent data to develop further theories about the process, which may one day be confirmed through similar observations. Read Less
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