New observations of black hole devouring a star reveal rapid disk formation

When a star passes too close to a supermassive black hole, tidal forces tear it apart, producing a bright flare of radiation as material from the star falls into the black hole. Astronomers study the light from these ‘tidal disruption events’ (TDEs) for clues to the feeding behavior of the supermassive black holes lurking at the centers of galaxies, and new observations help resolve crucial details of this process.