Stellar Homicide

Anonymous's picture
May 14, 2012 - 9:07am
Via Joseph Lee, G+

With the aid of a telescope at Mount Haleakala in Hawaii, researchers were able to observe a supermassive black hole in the process of devouring a star. Of course black holes have a penchant for sucking in stellar bodies, but what makes this significant is that it was observed from start to finish, giving astrophysicists precious new information on how the process looks like when it begins. This computer simulation shows the time period in which a star first begins its final ascent into a black hole. The strong gravitational forces tidally shred the star, ejecting some of its gases into space. Astronomers observe this energy release as a flare in uv and visible light as the gas falls back into the black hole. In any case with the data collected it looks like a cut and dry case for NASA CSI ;) 

Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide [hd video]

NASA image release May 2, 2012

This computer-simulated image shows gas from a tidally shredded star falling into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Astronomers observed a flare in ultraviolet and optical light from the gas falling into the black hole and glowing helium from the stars's helium-rich gas expelled from the system.


jedion357's picture
May 14, 2012 - 10:33am
Interesting. First question is how would you use this in game? I'm guessing it is first and foremost KHs action, even if that would be abstract KHs action where ship enters system not expecting the black hole to be munching on the star and you require some piloting skill checks to avoid the flare. I'm guessing the flare would do bad things to a ship. But beyond that what would you do with this? Would the sathar send a ship to watch the demise of the star? Likely as not planets have not fared well in this system, perhaps not even forming at all unless the black hole was a wandering body or Tetrarch experiment gone wrong. Not likely you could do a escape this planet thing before the flare reaches it sort of thing or you could if you just ignore that its really implausible. Science station on a cold ice ball is expecting a resupply run which shows up about the time the black hole starts surfacing the stat for lunch. Throw in a sathar agent and perhaps you have an adventure in the vein of Towering Inferno disaster story.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
May 14, 2012 - 10:36am
Some questions come to mind: How fast is the flare moving, how far out will it reach. In order to use this I think you'd need some idea of the particulars.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

thespiritcoyote's picture
May 20, 2012 - 1:09am
Star Trek: The Next Generation used this in one of the episodes.... I think I remember an alien child on a planet near-by...

Realistically the flare would kill any ship and crew close enough to be caught in it.... we are not talking Millirads, or Rads, but Megarads... no shielded hull, planetary atmo, or underground complex, will save you... just a small potential to aid in your slow suffering rather than quick painless demise...
any ship hull would be irradiated and thermally elevated enough to make rescue a non-option, and any planet with life on it is just going to be sucking a long cold black night in an endless void with little to no atmo left, by the time any "resurrection" project reopens to the surface world.

I am going to venture a couple observations... the data being shown seems to be suggesting a few rules are being broken, and black holes don't follow the same rules...
the speed at which the flare fans out appears faster than any frontier ship can outrun, over an effective distance that no frontier ship can escape... all over a time period no frontier crew would have survived...
Oh humans!! Innocent We discover a galactic community filled with multiple species of aliens, and the first thing we think about is "how can we have sex with them?".
~ anymoose, somewhere on the net...

if you square a square it becomes a cube...
if you square a cube does it become an octoid?