When you swallow an entire star that's roughly twice the size of our Sun, you're going to unleash one helluva burp.
At least, that's a fun and very unscientific way of looking at new research astronomers published in a recent study after observing a massive eruption in a pair of distant colliding galaxies. Scientists said they saw a black hole with 20 million times the mass of the Sun rip a star apart and spew a massive jet of fiery particles into space at a little under the speed of light, according to a release summarizing the findings by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The jet of particles alone contained about 125 billion times the amount of energy put out by the sun in a year. Big burp indeed.
The intense death and destruction of a star, known as a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE), has only been detected and observed by scientists a small number of times so far. The latest one, which the researchers initially thought was a supernova in the constellation Ursa Major some 150 million light years from Earth, provides new insights into what happens when a star is devoured this way.