Space zombies! How black holes enliven the dead stars

Space zombies! How black holes enliven the dead stars

A supercomputer simulation shows what happens when a dead star near a black hole returns to life. The upper images show the density, and the lower ones the temperature.

It turns out that the black holes in store a few more trump cards in the sleeves. For example, they are able to “revive” the dead stars in order to destroy them later! Black holes are invisible objects in space, whose force of gravity is so strong that it absorbs everything into itself, even light.

Usually found black holes are, by mass, real monsters (thousands and billions of times more than the sun) or relatively crumbs (100 times more massive than the Sun). We have not yet managed to find representatives of the middle range, but this does not mean that they are not in the Universe.

A team of scientists from the Lawrence National Laboratory (California) suspects that medium-sized black holes can guarantee sufficient gravitational force to bring the white dwarf back to life - a dead solar mass star that has completely consumed its own fuel.

To test this idea, team members conducted simulations on a supercomputer, driving away dozens of different scenarios of close passages of white dwarfs and medium-sized black holes. Each rapprochement in the habitable zone showed that the star was ignited again. The black hole's gravitational force causes stellar material to merge with varying amounts of calcium and iron, creating more alloys and iron. This process of nucleosynthesis gives a star a second life. Also, scientists have found that the revival of the star will create powerful electromagnetic waves that can be caught by the apparatus in near-earth orbit. That is, we will have the opportunity to see where it happened and find a mean elusive black hole so far. It turns out that a zombie star can be used as a beacon leading to a black hole.

But it is important to understand that a star that has returned to life cannot remain bright for a long time. Yes, the black hole will hold a resurrection ritual, and then proceed to dinner. When approaching tidal forces compress the star, and then stretch and tear apart.

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