(Space.com) A dust-enshrouded, giant black hole ripping apart a star blasted out a superfast jet of particles that packed about 125 billion times the amount of energy the sun releases per year, a new study finds.

This is the first time astronomers have directly imaged the formation and evolution of such a jet from a black hole. This finding may help astronomers discover many new instances of black holes destroying stars.

Supermassive black holes that are millions to billions times the mass of the sun are thought to lurk in the hearts of most, if not all, large galaxies. If a star passes too close to such a monstrous black hole, its powerful gravitational pull will tear it apart in a so-called tidal disruption event. [Images: Black Holes of the Universe]

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