The research was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The possible existence of the Blackstar program was reported in March 2006 by Aviation Week & Space Technology (Aviation Week, AWST) magazine; the magazine reported that the program had been underway since at least the early 1990s, and that the impetus for Blackstar was to allow the United States government to retain orbital reconnaissance capabilities jeopardized following the 1986 Challenger … Hail all strainers! Michael has always been fascinated by space, technology, dinosaurs, and the weirder mysteries of the universe. ", This illustration depicts a star (in the foreground) experiencing spaghettification as it's sucked in by a supermassive black hole (in the background) during a 'tidal disruption event.' All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, Check out what's clicking on FoxBusiness.com. "But this is exactly what happens in a tidal disruption event. All of these programs can be found in US military budget documents with associated budget account numbers for years in the 1980s up into the mid-1990s (in the case of Copper coast), though the code name was dropped from the account number in the mid-1990s, even though many millions were budgeted up until recent years. But in the new event, named AT2019qiz, astronomers managed to see the show from its very early stages, before the veil went up. couldn't make orbit), while the third, an "assisted SSTO", did achieve orbital capability. That stretches the object right out like spaghetti – hence the nickname “spaghettification,” although it’s more scientifically known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message. These programs were code-named, in order, Science dawn, Science realm, and Copper canyon, and involved the development of three different competitive demonstrator vehicles. The observations showed for the first time that the flare of light is directly linked to material flowing off the star. The Aviation Week report was dismissed a few days later as "almost certainly bogus" and the project termed a "technical absurdity" by Jeffrey F. Bell in an article in Space Daily.. Blackstar: the US space conspiracy that never was? The primary use of a military spaceplane such as Blackstar would be to conduct high-altitude or orbital reconnaissance, allowing surprise overflights of foreign locations with very low risk of the spyplane being successfully engaged by existing air-defense systems. The most serious of these was the Lockheed HGV under the X-24C program, which was a manned hypersonic vehicle dropped from underwing a B-52, even to the point of rumors that it had actually been flight tested, according to Encyclopedia Astronautica. Some of the details of the SR-3 resemble the rumored Brilliant Buzzard or “Mothership” aircraft, which was alleged to carry reconnaissance aircraft on top, rather than on the bottom as with the SR-3. It was at the conclusion of Copper canyon's design phase that President Reagan proposed the X-30 NASP, which is claimed[by whom?] The XOV would then light its rocket motor (aerospike engines, similar to those used by the Lockheed Martin X-33), and could achieve both suborbital and orbital flight; one source quoted by Aviation Week estimates the XOV could reach an orbit of 300 miles (480 km) above the Earth, depending on payload and mission profile. They have witnessed the birth of the Flying spaghetti monster ! It is unclear if the Blackstar program became fully operational, although it may have been so since the mid-1990s. A light-year, which measures distance in space, is approximately 6 trillion miles. ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and New Technology Telescope (NTT) were trained on the star, observing it over six months in ultraviolet and optical light, X-rays and radio waves. Until now, the nature of these emissions has been heavily debated, but here we see that the two regimes are connected through a single process. Military analysts[who?] With the adoption of the Space Shuttle design, these avenues appear to have been abandoned. Furthermore, three code-named programs to design the stealthing of these three vehicles fell under the programs known as Have blinders I, II and III. "AT2019qiz is the nearest tidal disruption event discovered to date, and hence, incredibly well-observed across the electromagnetic spectrum," Berger added. All market data delayed 20 minutes. The gravity of the black hole is so intense it will stretch and contort any object that gets near it, akin to a piece of spaghetti. Black holes are famously ravenous objects, gobbling up anything that wanders too close to their incredible gravitational pull. Fox Business Flash top headlines are here. "A tidal disruption event results from the destruction of a star that strays too close to a supermassive black hole," study co-author and astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Edo Berger added. The article also said that the United States Air Force's Space Command was unaware of Blackstar, suggesting it was operated by an intelligence agency such as the National Reconnaissance Office.. The blast of light was caught by several telescopes around the world, prompting scientists to look into the anomaly for months to make sure their initial observations were correct.  The magazine also stated that it was likely that Blackstar would be mothballed, although it is unclear whether this is due to cost or failure of the program. In October 2018, astronomers observed Sgr A* pulling gas blobs into its vortex at 30 percent of the speed of light. 'STRANGE,' MYSTERIOUS OBJECTS SPOTTED ORBITING MILKY WAY'S BLACK HOLE. "This is a unique 'peek behind the curtain' that provided the first opportunity to pinpoint the origin of the obscuring material and follow in real time how it engulfs the black hole," Alexander explained. A tidal disruption event occurs when a star gets too close to a black hole. Aviation Week speculated that such a spacecraft could also have offensive military capabilities, a concept colloquially known as "The Space Bomber". The research was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Also known as Sgr A,* it has a mass 4 million times that of the sun and is 25,000 light-years from Earth. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. Kornmesser. The event occurred over 200 million light-years from Earth over the course of six months, as the dying star was ripped to shreds by immense gravitational forces. This is similar to the goals of the earlier U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft; in some circumstances such an overflight yields more information than a pass by a reconnaissance satellite, as the satellite's path is predictable, allowing sensitive material to be hidden. An illustration of a star being stretched into "spaghetti" by a black hole, Death by spaghettification: artistic animation of star being sucked in by a black hole. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blackstar_(spacecraft)&oldid=971837847, 1990s United States experimental aircraft, Articles needing cleanup from December 2017, Cleanup tagged articles with a reason field from December 2017, Wikipedia pages needing cleanup from December 2017, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2017, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles needing additional references from May 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from May 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2016, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from August 2016, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 August 2020, at 14:56. Astronomers have witnessed a rare celestial light show – a star being stretched into “spaghetti” by a black hole. All market data delayed 20 minutes. BLACK HOLE AT MILKY WAY'S CENTER SEEN BEHAVING STRANGELY. An animation of the spaghettification process can be seen in the video below. “This unique ‘peek behind the curtain' provided the first opportunity to pinpoint the origin of the obscuring material and follow in real time how it engulfs the black hole.”. Aviation Week's article speculated that the success of Blackstar explains the Government's willingness to cancel the SR-71 Blackbird and Air Force satellite-launch programs. I'd like to see the actual data they used. 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