Astronomers Watched a Black Hole Gobble a Star

We can’t — yet — directly see black holes, making finding one of these elusive beasts hard, especially since a great majority of them are dormant. But researchers at the University of Maryland, NASA Goddard, and the University of Michigan recently caught one of these sleeping giants waking up to slurp on a big snack: a passing star.

A Star for Dinner
Called Swift J1644+57, the black hole is about 3.8 billion light-years away at the center of a relatively quiet galaxy. The supermassive blac

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