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Watch This Animation of a Star Being Ripped Apart by a Black Hole

The force of a black hole is powerful enough to unravel a passing star. If that scene is difficult for you to imagine, just take a look at NASA’s digital rendering above.

This newly released animation depicts “tidal disruption,” a phenomenon astronomers recently observed in real life using three X-ray telescopes. The event, which they dubbed ASASSN-14li, allowed scientists to gather new details on how stars and black holes interact.  

In the animation, material is shown being ripped away from the passing star at a high rate, which generates a huge amount of light. The light diminishes as the star collapses into the black hole, and the gas spirals toward the center in a disk formation. Scientists now know that when stellar debris falls toward the hole’s center, it reaches temperatures of millions of degrees. This heat pushes gases outward in the form of a high-speed wind, forming the gaseous disk around it. 

This phenomenon was observed using the telescopes to study X-ray light at different wavelengths and to see how they changed over time. Astronomers discovered ASASSN-14li in November 2014, and at 290 million light-years from Earth, the tidal disruption is the closest one we’ve found in the last decade. For more information on ASASSN-14li, check out NASA’s awesomely titled press release, Destroyed Star Rains onto Black Hole, Wind Blows it Back

[h/t: The Verge]

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The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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