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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Star Gulp Gives Black Hole Indigestion
24 August 2011 1:00 pm
A giant black hole in the constellation Draco bit off more than it could chew. On 25 March, NASA's Swift satellite detected an x-ray flare when a black hole 3.9 billion light-years from Earth tore a passing star to shreds. The flare arose because friction and gravity roasted the star's remains and made them glow brilliantly before the black hole swallowed them. Now, as astronomers report online today in Nature, the x-ray data as well as radio observations indicate the fireworks caused a narrow jet of material to shoot away from the black hole's outskirts. Similar jets emerge from other black holes, but this is the first time that astronomers have witnessed the birth of one. The black hole in Draco resides at the center of a far-off galaxy and is about the same size as the 4-million-solar-mass black hole marking the Milky Way's heart. Although our galaxy's black hole is currently quiet, this discovery means just one wayward star can spark a spectacle.
See more ScienceShots.