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This artist's illustration depicts what astronomers call a "tidal disruption event," or TDE, when an object such as a star wanders too close to a black hole and is destroyed by tidal forces generated from the black hole's intense gravitational forces. A trio of X-ray telescopes including Chandra witnessed a TDE that has lasted more than a decade, much longer than any previously observed TDE. This implies that the event involved either the most massive star to be completely ripped apart and devoured by a black hole or the first instance where a smaller star was completely ripped apart. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UNH/D.Lin et al, Optical: CFHT, Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss )

This black hole took more than a decade to devour a star


This is more than ten times longer than any observed episode of a star's death by black hole.
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory

Astronomers have detected a giant black hole that's taken a record-breaking decade to devour a star.

Researchers made the discovery using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, according to a release. 

Researchers said this "food fest" is taking place in a galaxy 1.8 billion light-years from Earth. 

University of New Hampshire scientist Dacheng Lin, who led the study, said this so-called black hole feeding frenzies have been observed since the 1990s. But those observed by scientists have lasted just a year, whereas this one has reached a record-breaking 11 years -- and it's still not done.

A Quick Look at XJ1500+0154

Lin and his team used data from three orbiting X-ray telescopes including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to study this black hole's "eating habits." 

X-ray flares erupt when a star gets swallowed by a black hole and cooked at millions of degrees. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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