Spinning supermassive black hole rips star apart (artist’s impression)

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, that could resemble a superluminous supernova.

More information and download options: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1644a/

Credit:
ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser

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