NASA's Hubble Space Telescope recorded a black hole enveloping a star in its final moments in a donut shape, the US space agency reported earlier this month.
The incident took place in March of last year but was only reported by NASA this month.
In the report, NASA also describes the process of a star being swallowed by a black hole.
- First, a star passes by a black hole
- If it's close enough, the black hole pulls the star into its gravitational field
- The star is shredded as the black hole then tears it apart
- The remnants are then put into a ring around the black hole in the shape of a donut, and then eventually fall into the hole
Black holes also do not naturally seek out stars, the report says, but rather remain in one place until a star passes by.
Hubble Space Telescope unable to capture the incident up close
The telescope was unable to capture the whole process up close because the star that was swallowed was 300 million light years away, NASA said, but astronomers at the space agency still took the opportunity to study the light from the shredded star.
About 100 black hole incidents were detected by astronomers and their various telescopes.