A star 215 million light-years away has been obliterated by a supermassive black hole, making it the closest observation to date of stellar spaghettification.
Spaghettification doesn’t sound very scientific, but it’s a fairly accurate description of what actually happens.
A doomed star caught in the orbit of a supermassive black hole will eventually hit a kind of gravitational sweet spot that turns everything to shit. No longer capable of keeping its physical integrity, the star begins to rapidly collapse in a process known as a fast-evolving tidal disruption event. When this happens, stellar debris bursts out from the star, forming a long, thin stream, half of which gets sucked toward the black hole; the other half is blown back into space. The thin stream eventually catches up to and slams into itself, releasing energy and