World Media

Bright flash may have been black hole being born

Bright flash may have been black hole being born

Eventually the scientific community began to call him "Cow".

For one, the anomaly was unnaturally bright-10 to 100 times brighter than a typical supernova. Located in the dwarf galaxy CGCG 137-068t at only 200 million light-years away, the burst was also relatively close to Earth, which aided in the team's ability to spot and study it.

The mysterious and spectacularly bright glow was first spotted on June 16, 2018, by ATLAS telescopes in Haleakala and Maunaloa in Hawaii.

But the team still isn't sure exactly what The Cow is. Using data from multiple NASA missions, including the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), two groups are publishing papers that provide possible explanations for the Cow's origins. "It would have been hard to see this in a normal stellar explosion".

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, and published in the Astrophysical Journal. Their study revealed the presence of hydrogen and helium, which are associated with black holes and neutron stars.

The extreme flash was dubbed AT2018cow, or now widely referred to as "the Cow".

Black holes are the most mysterious phenomena in the universe.

Astronomer Daniel Perley from Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom said that due to the Cow being extremely luminous as well as forming and disappearing quickly makes it so unique "that existing supernova models can't properly explain it".

United States government shutdown becomes longest in history
Trump originally pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. Trump insisted there is absolutely no chaos in the White House, saying, "There's nearly nobody in the W.H. but me".

A Northwestern University-led worldwide team of astronomers on the Big Island of Hawai'i is getting closer to understanding the mysterious bright object that burst in the northern sky this summer, dubbed AT2018cow or 'The Cow'. They also calculated that the black hole's mass ranges from 100,000 to 1 million times the Sun's, nearly as large as the central black hole of its host galaxy. A supernova (from nova meaning "new" star) is a sudden explosion of a massive star which has reached the end of its lifetime, leading to the formation of a black hole or neutron star.

An unusually bright star collapse was caught through a telescope.

Or a New View of a Supernova?

How they figured this out: Rather than using telescopes that capture visible light, the traditional method of studying star deaths, the team from Northwestern also used x-rays, "hard x-rays" (which are basically extra powerful x-rays), radio waves, and gamma rays to study the Cow. Based on those observations, the team suggests that a supernova could be the source of the Cow.

This object was either a black hole or a neutron star - both incredibly dense regions of space - and the stellar debris approaching the event horizon of the object was responsible for the flash. The Cow could represent the birth of one of these stellar remnants. This allowed astronomers to see directly through to the object's central engine's radiation. "But based on what we saw in other wavelengths, we think this was a special case and that we may have observed - for the first time - the creation of a compact body in real time", Margutti explained.

Key data and images were pulled thanks to the combined efforts of ESA's Integral and XMM-Newton, as well as NASA's NuSTAR and Swift space telescopes, which altogether cover the length and breadth of the observable energy spectrum nearly entirely. The cosmic flare also vanished within 16 days-much faster than other supernovae.

Typically, a supernova's expanding debris cloud blocks any light from the compact object at the center of the blast. "This is the closest transient object of this kind that we have ever found", Margutti observed. "But, as we're seeing with the Cow, that doesn't necessarily mean the solution will be simple".