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Scientific Method: When a supermassive black hole devours a star

In this handout photo provided by NASA,  This is the first image of Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, with an added black background to fit wider screens.
In this handout photo provided by NASA, This is the first image of Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, with an added black background to fit wider screens.

The universe can be stranger than science fiction. That’s certainly the case with a cosmic event detected a few weeks ago by a team of astronomers at Purdue University. 

Using their lab’s artificial intelligence engine, they found a supermassive black hole devouring a giant star.

Scientists are calling it the most luminous and energetic phenomenon they’ve ever seen. They’ve even nicknamed it “Scary Barbie,” in part because of its terrifying power.  

For this month’s installment of Scientific Method—a series where we talk about the latest in science—we discuss the significance of this discovery.

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Haili Blassingame