curiouser, no bright supernova occurred -- although the star did brightened significantly for a few months. The leading theory is that, at about 25 times the mass of our Sun, N6946-BH1's great gravity held much of the star together during its final tumultuous death throes, after which most the star sunk into a black hole of its own making. If so, then what remained outside of the black hole likely then formed an accretion disk that emits comparatively faint infrared light as it swirls around, before falling in. If this mode of star death is confirmed with other stars, it gives direct evidence that a very massive star can end its life with a whimper rather than a bang.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: stars - black hole
Publications with words: stars - black hole
- GW190521: Unexpected Black Holes Collide
- APOD: 2020 August 25 Á Visualization: A Black Hole Accretion Disk
- A Black Hole Disrupts a Passing Star
- An Extreme Black Hole Outburst
- Black Hole Safety Video
- Unusual Signal Suggests Neutron Star Destroyed by Black Hole
- Animation: Spiral Disk around a Black Hole