In an unintended discovery, scientists monitor the largest ever cosmic explosion that ignited three years ago

In an unintended discovery, scientists monitor the largest ever cosmic explosion that ignited three years ago
In an unintended discovery, scientists monitor the largest ever cosmic explosion that ignited three years ago

In “accidental discovery”, monitor Scholars The “largest” cosmic explosion ever recorded suddenly ignited three years ago.

Although scientists have a new explanation to explain the cause of this phenomenon, they stress the need for further research to find clearer details.

This phenomenon has been dubbed “AT”. 2021 LWX” (AT2021lwx) is not the brightest ever. It dates back to a gamma-ray burst (a massive explosion of energy during the fall of a star) “GRB 221009 any” (GRB221009A) that was discovered in October 2022 It was believed to be “the brightest of all”.

However, this cosmic explosion, which was mentioned in the monthly magazine “Monthly Notice” of the British Royal Astronomical Society, can be described as “the largest”, because within three years it released an unlimited amount of energy that exceeds what results from a gamma-ray burst, according to the study’s lead author, Philip Wiseman. He is an astrophysicist at the University of Southampton, UK.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse, Weizmann said, “AT 2021 LWX” is the result of “accidental discovery”.

The cosmic explosion was observed in the year 2020 Via the American Observatory “Zwicky Transient Facility” in California. However, monitoring “AT 2021 LWX “remained unused in the observatory’s database,” Weizmann said, before scientists noticed it the following year.

Direct observation of the phenomenon changed the situation, while an analysis of the light proved that it took eight billion years to reach the telescope.

“an actual puzzle”

Astronomers still ask questions about the cause of this phenomenon. It could be a supernova, that is, a massive explosion of a star at the end of its life. But the brightness caused by “AT 2021 LWX” is 10 times larger than what is produced by a supernova.

The second possibility is that this explosion is an astronomical phenomenon represented by the rupture of a star after it came close to a supermassive black hole, but the brightness of AT 2021 LWX” is three times more likely to prove a similar scenario.

And the measured brightness is comparable only to the brightness of quasars, as these galaxies harbor a supermassive black hole that sticks to matter by emitting a huge amount of light.

But the light from quasars is bright, while in A.T 2021 LWX” light suddenly worsened three years ago. “We’ve never seen a similar phenomenon (…),” Weizmann says. It seems to come from nowhere.”

And his team has an idea mentioned in the study, which is that a huge cloud of gas, the size of 5 Thousands of suns being devoured by a massive black hole.

Since the principle of science is that “there are no confirmed theories”, the team works on new simulations through the use of a set of data, with the aim of testing the “deterministic plausibility” of its theory.

But the problem lies in the supermassive black holes that are supposed to be in the center of galaxies, and that the size of “AT 2021 LWX” should be similar in size to the Milky Way.

No one has yet discovered a galaxy in the vicinity of the observed phenomenon. “It’s a real puzzle,” says Wiseman.

Research in space and in databases of what has been observed is therefore required, and it is likely that similar phenomena will help provide clear explanations for AT. 2021 LWX”.

France 24/AFP