Parasitic black holes may explain cosmic flashes

Gamma-ray bursts are very powerful and very bright events. They release in a momentary flash of gamma-rays and X-rays more energy than the sun does in its entire lifetime.

(Luckily, their are no sources of these bursts in our galaxy, otherwise we would be toast).

Gamma-ray bursts have been thought to occur because of massive dying stars collapsing into a black hole and bursting with radiation in the process. However, the bursts also have an afterglow of X-ray radiation that this theory can’t explain.

A new theory can. According to the new theory, a gamma-ray burst is the result of a black hole burrowing into a star and eating it from the inside like a gigantic light-devouring parasite.

It remains to be seen if the new theory can also account for other aspects of gamma-ray bursts. Did anyone say paradigm shift?

Via New Scientist.

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