Chris Nixon

For supermassive black holes (SMBH) even an entire star is just a short snack. Usually SMBH take millions of years to finish a meal. But if a star passes too close they’ll rip it apart using their immense gravitational tidal force, and devour the stellar debris in only a few months. These events are some of the most luminous in the Universe, so we learn fundamental physics from them. Leicester's physics department observes them with the Swift telescope and the theory group simulates them using DiRAC. The image shows a pair of SMBH messily enjoying their stellar treat!

 

Chris Nixon Physics and Astronomy

Chris Nixon 1065

Share this page:

cover issue 4