LOS ANGELES-Astronomers think they have solved the mystery of an extraordinary flash spied in a faraway galaxy, saying it came from a massive black hole that devoured a star after it wandered too close.
Black holes are swirling, super-dense cores of galaxies that vacuum up nearly everything in sight. How they grow so huge remains a mystery.
The University of Warwick shows a star being distorted by its close passage to a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.
The awesome energy released by the feeding frenzy was first detected by NASA's Swift satellite on March 28 and was later confirmed by a fleet of space and ground telescopes.
Some scientists initially thought the bright flash was a gamma-ray burst from a star collapsing, but flaring from such an event typically lasts only a few hours.
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