Cosmic Gulp: Astronomers See Black Hole Swallow Neutron Star

For the first time, astronomers have witnessed a black hole swallowing a neutron star, the most dense object in the universe — all in a split-second gulp.

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This illustration provided by Carl Knox depicts a black hole, center, swallowing a neutron star, upper left. The blue lines are gravitational waves, ripples in time and space, which is how astronomers detected the merger, and orange and red areas indicate parts of the neutron star being stripped away. In a report released on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, astronomers say they have witnessed a black hole swallowing a neutron star, the most dense object in the universe, _ all in a split-second gulp. (Carl Knox/OzGrav/Swinburne University Australia via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Carl Knox

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Talk about a heavy snack. For the first time, astronomers have witnessed a black hole swallowing a neutron star, the most dense object in the universe — all in a split-second gulp. Ten days later they saw the same thing, on the other side of the universe. In both cases, a neutron star — a teaspoon of which would weigh a billion tons — orbits ever closer to that ultimate point of no return, a…

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