Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Black hole parasites explain cosmic flashes

SOME of the brightest flashes in the universe may be the result of black holes burrowing into stars and devouring them from inside.

The flashes are known as gamma-ray bursts because most of their energy is in the form of high-energy radiation, including gamma rays and X-rays. The longer flashes, lasting at least a few seconds, have long been thought to signal the deaths of massive stars that have run out of fuel, causing them to collapse to form black holes, unleashing powerful jets of radiation in the process.

Now an alternative explanation has been given new lease of life: a black hole may instead be an external attacker that dives into the belly of a massive star and consumes it.


Post a Comment