Last updated July 20, 2018 at 3:03 pm
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a star got too close to a black hole?
This animation shows how the ASASSN-15lh most likely happened. A Sun-like star gets into the area of influence of a rapidly spinning supermassive black hole in the centre of a distant galaxy. While its orbit gets constantly closer to the black hole the star gets “spaghettified”, creating an accretion disc around the supermassive black hole. When it finally gets ripped apart close to the event horizon it creates a bright flash, similar to a superluminous supernova.
Credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.