Watch a black hole eat a star

Ever seen a black hole chow down on a star? Well, now you can. OK, it's a kind of crummy animated rendering, but the event is still cool and rare.

Scientists have watched a rare blast of light from a star as it was eaten by a black hole.

The unusual "tidal disruption event" was visible in telescopes across the world. It appeared as a bright flare of energy, the closest of its kind ever recorded, at just 215 million light-years away.

Such events happen when a star gets too near to a black hole, and is pulled in by its extreme gravity.

As the star is sucked in, it undergoes a process called "spaghettification", where the star is shredded into thin strips, some of which falls into the black hole.

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Here is a NASA video explaining more.

Image: Screengrab