NASA Telescope Spotted A Black Hole Shrinking After It Devoured A Nearby Star

The space agency shared a video showing how a black hole 10,000 light-years away changed its composition as it consumed a star.

A black hole 10,000 light-years away from Earth was seen engulfing a nearby star into its center. NASA studied the X-rays (or light echoes) ricocheting off the black hole. Astronomers found that the corona in the black hole's center shrunk signifcantly over time, which gave them an idea of how these objects may eventually evolve into supermassive black holes. You can watch a video of the black hole below.

About 10,000 light years away from Earth, a black hole is engaged in a stellar feast, devouring the gases of a nearby star -- and we've been watching.

The stellar-mass black hole, around 10 times more massive than our sun, was discovered after a humongous X-ray flare in March 2018. It was originally detected by a specialized instrument aboard the International Space Station, operated by the Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency, known as the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI). After the X-ray burst captivated astronomers, researchers at MIT, the University of Maryland and NASA swung another instrument on board the station to watch what happened to the black hole, nicknamed J1820.

It's embarrassing when people watch you eat, but J1820 was none the wiser as NASA swung the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) to monitor its buffet. NICER continued to detect waves of X-ray light bouncing away from the black hole, called "light echoes", which demonstrated how the black hole's size and shape was changing over time.