Scientists have discovered an ultra-bright phenomenon in the distant universe that could have come from a star destroyed by a black hole. The fleeting phenomena evolves faster than the supernova, but it is as bright and visible as the huge star explosion.
This is according to the findings of an international scientific team in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The authors think that this phenomenon may have been caused by a pulsating star or supernova that collided with its circumstellar material.
Pilar Ruiz Lapuente from the Institute of Fundamental Physics (IFF) in Madrid, Spain explained: “There are several possibilities: that it is a star destroyed by the tidal effect of a massive black hole, or a supernova associated with a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field, or magnetar.”
The discovery formed part of an international project called Musses, headed by Jian Jiang from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) in collaboration with The Astrophysical Research Institute of the Canary Islands (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias) or the IAC in Spain. The team was set out to study the nature and characteristics of Ultra luminous blue transients or moving phenomena (FBUT).
A statement from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) explains that transients are rapid pulses filled with energy on the ultraviolet or blue spectrum with a spectacular brightness that slowly disappears.
The team specifically aimed to investigate MUSSES2020J, the name given to a rapidly evolving transient phenomenon discovered on December 11, 2020, close to the center of a “normal” galaxy.
The scientists realized that the brightness of the phenomenon grew considerably during their observations, which was similar to another recent transient discovery known as AT 2018cow. The experts believe that this phenomenon could be either a blackhole or a neutron-star.
Lapuente explained that the phenomenon could also be a pulsating supernova due to the instability produced by the creation of pairs of electron-positron or PPSIN.
PPSIN are massive star explosions that collapse and form a black hole while simultaneously shooting out a jet-like stream of external layers.
This model could explain why the light curves in a certain way, shedding light on the AT 2018cow discovery while the findings could start new a debate regarding the origins of similar phenomena.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.
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