January 27, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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Nobody knows what caused it. Scientists have finally revealed the most unique glimpses into the universe we’ve ever seen

Apparently, they were finally able to unravel the mystery surrounding the extremely bright flash that scientists thought was an entirely new type of space explosion.

This faint blue flash emanating from the spiral arm of a galaxy several million light-years away was so mysterious that it has been classified as a “short-term transient event of unknown origin,” or FBOT. The portal drew attention to the topic Science The site of a reputable university with.

On June 16, 2018, astronomers around the world recorded a brief, extremely bright event that glowed in the sky up to 100 times brighter than a typical supernova. The brightness of this flash made scientists believe it came from somewhere in our galaxy. When they discovered that it came from a galaxy 200 million light-years away, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

Many of these events have been discovered since 2018, but until now we don’t know for sure what caused them. One possibility was that it was a TDE (tidal disturbance event) – an event in which a star or white dwarf gets so close to a supermassive black hole that it engulfs it.

Another possibility was that it was a Type II supernova, in which the stellar core, no longer supported by the pressure of external fusion, collapses under its own gravity into a super-dense object, ScienceAlert wrote.

We finally know the answer

To find out which of these options is present, in a new study published in the journal natural astronomy seem for X-ray emissions from this event.


More precisely, the data collected by NICER located on the International Space Station were examined. The NICER event, or the signal marked AT2018cow, began noticing about 5 days after initial detection, and continued for another 60 days.

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Monitoring of millions of X-ray pulses showed that they were emitted at set intervals, every 4.4 milliseconds. Judging by this pace, scientists were able to calculate that, for whatever purpose, it should not exceed 1,000 kilometers.

“The only thing that could be very small is a compact object – a neutron star or a black hole.” MIT Dheeraj Basham, an MIT astronomer, cited the ScienceAlert portal.

Just as the regularity of signals puts restrictions on body size, their strength places restrictions on body weight. This means that the strength of the recorded signals showed a simple truth. The object can be no more than 800 times the mass of the Sun, thus essentially eliminating the possibility that it was the TDE event mentioned above (the event caused the star’s core to collapse).

Depending on the compressed body the star hit, the periodicity of the signals can be explained. In the case of a neutron star, the periodicity is due to the speed of its rotation; In the case of a black hole, emissions can be produced from material ejected from a supernova, which is now falling into a newly formed black hole.

The researchers believe that clarifying this case could serve as a tool for discovering and studying nascent black holes in the future.