Hubble Telescope discovers AT2022dsb, a black hole they have named Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson is probably the most popular American fictional person in the world. The father of the Simpson family and star of the show created by Matt Groening who can be proud that his creation inspired the name of a black hole discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Hubble of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) recently captured AT2022dsb, but scientists have preferred to give it a nickname to identify it more easily and for other study reasons: Homer Simpson .

Calling a black hole Homer Simpson must have a scientific, logical, and fun reason. As a report published on the website of esquirethe event observed by the Hubble telescope, almost 300 million light years away, is a “Tidal Destruction Event”.

This phenomenon occurs when a star gets too close to a black hole and is torn apart by its immense gravitational force, meaning that it is tearing the star open, turning it into a kind of doughnut of gas and debris, to then devour it. Exactly: Mmmmm, donuts.

How did the experts detect it?

Peter Maksym, co-investigator at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, spoke about this discovery: “In general, these phenomena are difficult to observe. Perhaps some observations will be made early in the outage, when it is very bright. Our program is different in that it is designed to look at a few tides over the course of a year and see what happens.”

“We saw it early enough to be able to observe it in these intense phases of black hole accretion. We saw that the rate of accretion decreased as it became a trickle over time,” concludes the scientist.

The conclusion of the experts is that this finding will provide a lot of information about this very special phase in the existence of a black hole.