Thursday, September 5, 2019
It's possible the light was from a black hole consuming another object like a star, the study suggests. When objects get too close to a black hole, they can get torn apart by gravity, and their debris is pulled into a close orbit around the black hole. Material at the disk's inner edge moves so quickly that it "heats up to millions of degrees and radiates X-rays," NASA says. For reference, the surface of the sun is around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most ULXs last for a long time because they're formed by dense objects like black holes that "feed" on a star for a long time. Short-lived X-ray sources like this ULX aren't as common, so its appearance could be explained by a scenario such as a black hole quickly destroying a small star.
Or is it?