Ghost particle that slammed into Antarctica traced back to black hole feast - CNET
Feb 22, 2021 1 min, 12 secs

In new research, published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, scientists detail the detection of a subatomic particle -- known as a neutrino -- at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica.

Using data from the Zwicky Transient Facility at California's Palomar Observatory, researchers were able to trace the origins of the subatomic bullet back to an extreme event some 700 million years ago: the cataclysmic destruction of a star as it was shredded by a black hole.

In April 2019, the Zwicky facility detected a bright glow around a black hole some 700 million light-years away.

The flare of light was produced when a star traveled too close to the black hole, which is around 30 million times more massive than the sun.

They were able to link the TDE to the detection of the neutrino by IceCube.

The researchers theorize the TDE threw about half of the shattered star into space while the rest settled around the black hole in a gigantic "accretion disc" of hot, bright dust, gas and debris.

The wild energies around the black hole in the disc result in huge jets of matter being shot out of the system.

Here's what the accretion disc around a  supermassive black hole looks like.

Telescopes were able to trace the source of the neutrino back to a distant galaxy that housed a "blazar" -- a huge black hole surrounded by an accretion disc with a jet aimed directly at the observer.


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