Transcripts of 14000_TDE_Simulation_1080

[Music throughout] Scientists used supercomputer simulations to throw eight different types of stars at a monster black hole. Their goal is to create more realistic models of tidal disruption events, which occur when unlucky stars stray too close to black holes. Gravitational forces create intense tides that deform the stars and break them into streams of gas. These simulations are the first to combine the physical effects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and virtual stars with realistic internal structures. This schematic shows the stars’ trajectory. In this version of the simulations, the black hole has 1 million times the Sun’s mass and the stars are about 24 million miles away at their closest. The model stars range from about one-tenth to 10 times the Sun’s mass. The colors reflect their densities, from the lowest, shown in blue, to the highest, in yellow. In some cases, the stars are fully pulled apart. In others, they’re only partially disrupted. As these stars move farther from the black hole, their own gravity pulls them back together. Surprisingly, the stars that fully and partially disrupt aren’t cleanly divided by mass. The Sun-like star, along with those with 0.15, 0.3, and 0.7 solar masses, survive their close encounters. But stars with 0.4, 0.5, 3, and 10 times the Sun’s mass are completely torn apart. The difference between survival and destruction depends on the star’s internal density. Simulations like these will help astronomers build a better picture of these catastrophic events occurring in galaxies millions of light-years away. [NASA] [NASA]