Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.
Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.
Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
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