Astronomers discover the largest cosmic explosion ever

5 minutes ago

image copyright NASA

photo comment,

The actual explosion captured by a NASA space telescope

Astronomers have detected what they believe is the largest cosmic explosion ever observed.

The explosion was 10 times brighter than any “supernova” on record. The term “supernova”, or what is known in English as a supernova, refers to a massive explosion of a star at the end of its life.

So far, it has been brightening for more than three years, which is a much longer period of time than most supernovae that are usually only visibly bright for a few months.

One theory says that the explosion occurred when a huge cloud of gas was swallowed by a black hole.

The flash of the explosion was spontaneously detected in the sky for the first time and recorded in 2020, by the US Observatory Zwicky Transient Facility.

But it wasn’t noticed by astronomers until a year later as they combed through the data.

They named the event AT2021lwx “AT 2021 LWX”. At the time, they thought it was unremarkable because there was no indication of its distance, and so it was not possible to calculate its brightness.

Last year, a research team led by Dr. Philip Wiseman of the University of Southampton in the UK analyzed the light from the event, which enabled them to calculate the distance, which they estimated to be about 8 billion light-years away.

Dr. Weizmann described the moment he discovered the brightness of the phenomenon, as if he was saying, “Oh my God, this is amazing.”

The team was completely at a loss as to what would cause something so bright to happen. According to Dr. Weizmann, there was nothing in the scientific literature that could explain something so bright that lasted for so long.

“Most supernovae and tidal disturbance events only last a couple of months before fading,” he says. “But for something to be bright for two years or more is very unusual.”

His theory is that the explosion was caused by a huge cloud of gas, perhaps thousands of times larger than the sun, being swallowed up by a supermassive black hole.


photo comment,

One of the brightest events in the universe is what is known as a “supernova”, and the new explosion is ten times brighter

This would send shock waves through space, leaving a superheated remnant of the cloud surrounding the black hole, like a giant circular ring.

All galaxies are believed to have giant black holes at their cores. Dr. Weizmann believes that such powerful explosions could play an important role in what he describes as “sculpting” the centers of galaxies.

“These events, although very rare, can be so energetic that they represent fundamental processes of how the centers of galaxies change over time,” he says.

More massive explosions like this are now being sought, according to Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director of Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before, certainly not on this scale,” he told the BBC.

“I’d be surprised if this was the only thing like this in the universe.”

Dr. Weismann hopes to discover more events like this with new telescope systems over the next few years.

The scientific team is now proceeding to collect more data about the explosion, by observing the object in different wavelengths including X-rays, which can reveal the temperature of the object and the processes that may occur on its surface.

They will also run advanced mathematical simulations to test whether they match their theory of the cause of the explosion.

Details of the study were published in the scientific journal “Monthly Notice”, which is published by the Royal Astronomical Society in Britain.