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A jet of plasma is burped out when a black hole swallows a star


As the star gets sucked up into the black hole, a huge jet of plasma is burped out, spanning hundreds of light-years. "When the star is ripped apart by the gravitational forces of the black hole, some part of the star's remains falls into the black hole, while the rest is ejected at high speeds," explains Johns Hopkins University researcher, Suvi Gezari.


This computer-simulated image shows gas from a tidally shredded star falling into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Astronomers observed the flare in ultraviolet light using NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, and in optical light using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Mount Haleakala, Hawaii. The light comes from gas falling into the black hole, and glowing helium from the star's helium-rich gas expelled from the system. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU/UCSC


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