‘Unluckiest star’ may be trapped in deadly dance with a black hole

Illustration of a black hole ripping gas from a star

Stocktrek Images/Alamy

A star appears to be locked in a lethal dance with a supermassive black hole. According to a team of astronomers, this unlucky star gets almost torn apart each time its orbit swings past the black hole on a tight loop. If they are right, we might see it happen again two years from now.

If a star gets close enough to a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy, it can be tidally disrupted, which means the black…

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