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Scientists confused: A huge explosion has been observed in space

Most supernovas reach the highest brightness within a few weeks or even longer, but this explosion lasted for a few days. "It really seems that he just came from nowhere," says Kate Maguire of the ATLAS team of Queen's University in Belfast. The brightness of the explosion was incredibly large, 10-100 times that of most normal supernovas.

"There are the same fast-moving objects, but to be so quick and bright, it's really unusual," says Maguire. "In fact, such objects have never been recorded before."

Cosmic Cow

Observations were published on Astronomer's Telegram, a website where astronomers publish new observations of short-lived phenomena, with the catalog number AT2018cow assigned to the object, In short, just the "The Cow". The name was just a happy accident – for the events the Astronomer's Telegram received a three-letter code in an alphabetical order based on the time of adding the event.

At first it seemed like a bright explosion should be in our galaxy. But shortly after the initial observation, a group of Chinese astronomers in his light found signs that he was likely to have occurred in another galaxy, nearly 200 million light years.

In the next few days, various astronomical teams at least 18 telescopes examined Cow by examining it in different ways light wave sections. "I think this is the most widely reported object posted by Astronomer's Telegram," says Robert Rutledge of McGill University in Canada, senior site manager. Editor

Such observations allow us to interpret that Cow is an explosion of some kind of high-energy particles fluttering at almost light speed. The surface of the object is above 8900 ° C and it expands at a speed of 20,000 kilometers per second.

In bright, too fast

"We do not yet know what that is, but usually the power of supernovae is provided by radioactive Nickel breakdown, and this event is too bright and too fast to be able to ", says Maguire.

Some later observations suggest that it could be an Ic type supernova, says Rutledge, but" before finalizing it, it will be necessary to to perform more spectroscopic measurements ". This may be another kind of bizarre cosmic explosion.

Compared to the other rapid explosions detected, the Cow is relatively close, so it is easier to monitor it closely. Rutledge says we can find out what it's like in a few days. He is so close that it may be captured by gravity-gravity and neutron detectors.

"There will be many more observations very soon," he says. – Is this really something unusual, we'll see yet. "

Leah Crane


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