Relativistic Koalas in space?? What a trip!
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!
The Zwicky Transient Factory (ZTF) observes the entire northern sky and collects data on as many stars as possible. Combing through the light curves of 20 million stars with periodic changes in brightness, the authors of today’s paper found a hidden gem called ZTF J1539+5027, an eclipsing white dwarf binary with an orbital period of only 6.91 minutes.