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Thread: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

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    Default Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory



    Follow-up work on ROTSE3J120847.9+430121, an initially unclassified event that was detected in the RSVP program. This is one we've been working with both the 2.7m Harlan J. Smith telescope in both DIAFI, VIRUS-P, and f/33 Coude configuration, along with the 0.8m telescope, and ROTSE-IIIb itself.

    Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star | McDonald Observatory
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Fascinating! And 3 billion light years away. Thanks for sharing that, Coyne!
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Thanks for sharing Austin, this is cool. I wonder if this had been a little closer, maybe just a few million LYs. What would we see?

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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Here are a few photographs of ROTSE-IIIb;

    IMG_4448.jpg

    IMG_3526.jpg

    IMG_9128.jpg
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Austin if this was a Black Hole eating a star, wouldn't it have to be a wondering Black Hole instead of one at the center of a galaxy? I'm thinking the stars eaten in the middle of a galaxy would not be seen as well due to the brightness there.

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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Unlikely, so much so as to be improbable.

    Current research, supported by observational data and modeling suggest that every galaxy has a central black hole (CBH). There is a relationship between the size of the CBH and the host galaxy. The CBH ranges from a super-massive black hole at one end of the mass extreme, to a "small" CBH, in the half to one-million solar mass range. There are also some odd-balls, irregular galaxies that are the result of collision and merger, where there are two CBH evident at the galactic nucleus.

    Even in a large, moderately evolved spiral galaxy, we can "see" the effect of accretion and infall into the CBH of gas and dust. For small galaxies, the effect is even more pronounced. An infall event from gas and dust produces an extraordinary release of energy, and a star produces significantly more.

    In the case of an "orphaned", or "wandering" black hole, interstellar distances generally preclude us from a probability point of view of ever seeing an infall/merger between such an object and a star near enough to be gravitationally captured. So far, we have yet to detect even a binary pair, where this has occurred.

    The energy release from an infall event, even in a very large, bright AGN is so tremendous it outshines all the stars in the galactic nucleus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heavenly Gazer View Post
    Austin if this was a Black Hole eating a star, wouldn't it have to be a wondering Black Hole instead of one at the center of a galaxy? I'm thinking the stars eaten in the middle of a galaxy would not be seen as well due to the brightness there.
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Thanks for sharing, really awesome!

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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    For the curious, this is what the actual detection image from ROTSE-IIIb looks like, after reduction, astrometric solution, and annotation:

    j120847.9+430121.jpg
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    Quote Originally Posted by AustinPSD View Post
    For the curious, this is what the actual detection image from ROTSE-IIIb looks like, after reduction, astrometric solution, and annotation:
    Very cool, but... "Dougie"?!?

    EDIT: Okay, I read the release, and now I ask, why not "Kenny"?
    Last edited by MCox; 01-27-2015 at 04:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Black Hole Consumes a Star - News Release from McDonald Observatory

    The object colloquial naming theme changes - for a while, it was along a Southpark theme, including Cartman, Towlie, Kenny, and so on...

    Here's IIIb on-sky doing twilight sky flats:

    10360608_918876528153308_2583600090671497529_n.jpg
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