Astronomer Andrew king from the University of Leicester (UK) made a hypothesis of why a small black hole GSN 069 has a very unusual property – every 9 hours extend from it, a powerful flash of x-rays. For black holes, these effects are not uncommon, but the norm – but with such regularity scientists faced for the first time. King suggested that the reason for the star that survived the first encounter with a black hole and is now doomed to a long, but very unusual the death around her.

Black hole GSN 069 is 250 million light years away and is thought to be small – its mass is only 400 000 times greater than the Sun. The mysterious flashes were observed from the two spacecraft, their periodicity is confirmed. King believes that we are witnessing a process of “feeding” – when a star in orbit around a black hole close to it, of its substance is transferred to the accretion disk of the hole, which is accompanied by a flash.

Probably, once the local red giant was too close, and the black hole at once swallowed up a huge portion of its matter, leaving only a small core is a white dwarf. He was captured by the hole and now circling in an orbit about 15 times farther than the event horizon. Star over and over again loses part of its substance, its density becomes less, and it gradually increases in size.

King estimates that a takeover will last for a billion years, during which we can observe very interesting effects. Now the white dwarf mass of 0.21 from the sun, but as the loss of substances it will weigh, as a planet, and then completely turns into a huge sparse cloud of gas. To escape his fate, but you can dream up, as a highly developed civilization sets on the star station of observation to be able to study a black hole from close range in a relatively safe environment.

Source Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society