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Black Hole Eating a Star

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    I just read an article on Discovery.com that a black Hole was discovered in the process of destroying an unfortunate star that wandered too close. My question is, If you know the mass of the star, the mass of the black hole, and the distance between them can you calculate how long it will take for the star to be fully devoured by the black hole?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2011 #2


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    I would think so as long as those details gave us knowledge of how fast the materials was being stolen from the star. Whether they do or not, I don't know.
  4. Aug 26, 2011 #3


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    A lot depends on how the star reacts to losing mass. It is possible that in the process of giving up mass to the BH, the star will shrink to a point where it is within its own Roche lobe, and when that happens, it will stop losing matter to the BH.
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