We know that supermassive black holes consume almost anything that comes near them. But have you ever wondered how we know when or what they are devouring? Today’s paper provides an answer to that question as the author’s present the first confident detection of an accretion disk around a supermassive black hole following the tidal disruption of a star. Find out what astronomers see when a supermassive black hole has star for lunch!
Exoplanets have been the proverbial apples of astronomers’ eyes for some time now. But what about planets that orbit not one star, but two? Read today’s astrobite to learn more about where and how such planets form!
Giant planets take too long to form from large planetesimals. Does including much smaller pebbles fix this problem?
Astronomers have found hydrogen contamination in the atmospheres of helium white dwarfs – but where in the world/universe is it coming from?! The authors of today’s astrobite perform statistical tests to see if the source of this pesky hydrogen could be water-bearing rocky bodies out in space.
Materials carousel round and round black holes in the form of accretion disks, which evidence suggests to be larger than theoretical estimate. (Image credit: Double Negative visual effects company)