Newly discovered real-life Star Wars ‘Death Star’ black holes shoot beams that can kill planets, know all about them

Scientists have discovered certain types of black holes that swivel around and shoot beams at objects in the cosmos. This has prompted comparisons to the planet-killing Death Star space base from Star Wars.

Newly discovered real-life Star Wars ‘Death Star’ black holes shoot beams that can kill planets (Pixabay – representational image)

Scientists compared the discovery to the George Lucas franchise in an article in the Astrophysical Journal. In the article, they detailed these intergalactic ray guns.

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“These Death Star black holes are swiveling around and pointing at new targets, like the fictional space station in Star Wars,” study leader Francesco Ubertosi of the University of Bologna said in a press release.

What are scientists saying?

The scientist, along with his team, examined as many as 16 erupting supermassive black holes. They did so using NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The VLBA is a system of ten radio telescopes that are located in Mexico.

Scientists used these cutting-edge instruments and determined that the jets of the black holes can swivel as much as 90 degrees. “We found that about a third of the beams are now pointing in completely different directions than before,” Ubertosi said of the phenomenon.

The cosmic vortexes are believed to be around 10 billion years old. “Changing the direction of the giant black hole beams in about a million years is analogous to changing the direction of a new battleship in a few minutes,” said team member Gerrit Schellenberger of the Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).

The jets are composed of plasma particles supercharged by the magnetic field of the black hole. Travelling at around light speed, they reach distances several light-years from their source.

These black holes are capable of sweeping the galaxy while they fire plasma beams at objects such as the intergalactic laser turrets. However, it is unclear whether the beam impacts existing planets and stars. Scientists, however, believe that these Howitzers may be killing systems even before they are born.

“These galaxies are too distant to tell if the beams from the Death Star black holes are damaging stars and their planets, but we are confident they are preventing many stars and planets from forming in the first place,” team member and CfA researcher Ewan O’Sullivan said of this cosmic cauterization.

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