Adding a cosmic “Walking Dead” twist to the most morbid of all space objects, scientists have found that some black holes could bring dead “zombie” stars back to life — and then destroy them.
Black holes are invisible “objects” in space where the gravity is so strong that it sucks everything into it, even light. All of the black holes that astronomers have found so far are either superbig — as in hundreds of thousands and even billions of times the mass of our sun — or on the smallish side, as in, say, less than 100 times the mass of our sun. Astronomers haven’t spotted any of these matter-sucking beasts in the middle range yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California suspect that midsize black holes might be just the right size to provide enough gravitational force to reignite a dead white dwarf star — the stellar corpse of a star that’s about the mass of the sun and that’s used up its nuclear fuel.