Russian researchers using a space telescope have recorded how a black hole tore apart a star. Researchers from the Spectr-RG astrophysical space observatory managed to see this moment, according to the Space Research Institute (IKI) RAS. Astronomers have also reported the discovery of a new supercluster of galaxies in the equatorial sky.
It is known that on November 9 the German telescope eROSITA, located on board the orbiting X-ray observatory, registered a new source in the sky. It attracted the attention of Russian astrophysicists “by the softness of its X-ray spectrum,” the RAS said.
“Such sources with a lifetime of the order of six months should appear during the tidal destruction of a star that has flown too close to a supermassive black hole,” – indicated in the message.
The scientific director of the Spektr-RG observatory, Rashid Sunyaev, drew attention to the fact that this event is not exotic.
“Much of the ruptured star’s material forms an accretion disk around the black hole and slowly falls into the black hole, sending us a signal in the form of powerful X-rays. Astronomers have observed in the past 25 years two star passes near (but beyond the tidal radius) of a black hole with a mass 4 million solar masses at the center of our Galaxy “, – transfers RIA Novosti with reference to the press release of the IKI RAS.
The Spektr-RG observatory was launched into space in July last year. In October 2020, it reached a working point of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. By December of this year, she had already completed two all-sky surveys. It should be noted that Spektr-RG intends to make a map of the Universe within 4 years, having photographed the entire sky in the X-ray range in high resolution. In total, it is planned to build 8 cards in this way, each one will take six months, specified in the “Spectrum-RG”. The most accurate map, which will combine eight reviews, is expected to be released in 2025.
The observatory built at NPO Lavochkin includes two telescopes: eROSITA, created by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Germany), and ART-XC, developed by the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and manufactured in cooperation with the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.