(CNN)A star, caught in the grips of a supermassive black hole.
The immense gravity slowly strips the stellar material from its parent, forming a disc of gas around the black hole as it converts gravitational energy into electromagnetic radiation, producing a bright source of light visible on multiple wavelengths.
Then, even more dramatically, a narrow beam of particles shoots out of the black hole at almost the speed of light.
This galactic phenomenon — known as relativistic jets — was first discovered almost five years ago.
Further clues as to how a black hole feeding on a star produced such outbursts were revealed in March, and now researchers have used an Earth-sized radio telescope network to make record-sharp observations of the phenom.