This artist’s rendering shows a star wandering too close to a 3-million-solar-mass black hole was torn apart.
The debris gathered into an accretion disk around the black hole. The tidal disruption event named ASASSN-14li.
Data from NASA’s Swift satellite show that the initial formation of the disk was shaped by interactions among incoming and outgoing streams of tidal debris.
Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center