Black hole’s big gulp

Astronomers say a bright flare in space shows where a black hole tore apart a star

By Stephen Ornes, 11:43 AM May 25, 2012

In a distant galaxy, there’s a black hole with a mighty appetite — and one less star shining in space.

In 2010, two telescopes picked up a bright flare coming from a usually dark spot almost 3 billion light- years away. (That means the light takes almost 3 billion years to get from there to here.) Over the next few months, the brightness dimmed. The light show was caused by a star being shredded by a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy, astronomers now believe.

The black hole is...

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