Swift Charts a Star‘s ‘Death Spiral’ into Black Hole. In this animation you can see what happens when a star spirals into a black hole…
This animation illustrates how debris from a tidally disrupted star collides with itself, creating shock waves that emit ultraviolet and optical light far from the black hole.
According to Swift observations of ASASSN-14li, these clumps took about a month to fall back to the black hole, where they produced changes in the X-ray emission that correlated with the earlier UV and optical changes.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center