The ultimate fate of a star shredded by a black hole

In 2019, astronomers observed the nearest example to date of a star that was shredded, or ‘spaghettified,’ after approaching too close to a massive black hole. That tidal disruption of a sun-like star by a black hole 1 million times more massive than itself took place 215 million light years from Earth. Luckily, this was the first such event bright enough that astronomers could study the optical light from the stellar death, specifically the light’s polarization, to learn more about what happened after the star was torn apart.

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