NASA's swift orbital telescope captured an increase of X-rays from deep space in March.
Scientists say it was a "supermassive" black hole with a mass a million times that of our sun, destroying a star.
The animation shows the star plunging into the black hole of a galaxy nearly four billion light years away. The black hole's strong tidal forces ripped the star apart.
NASA says the cosmic accident has been streaming radiation toward Earth since March.