The explosion has been going on for three years and is ten times brighter than a supernova. Astronomers have discovered an unusual cosmic phenomenon, which they say is the largest explosion ever seen in the universe.
This phenomenon was first seen in 2020, about 8 billion light-years away. Now, just three years later, researchers really understand how massive the explosion called AT2021lwx was.
Researchers searched for a supernova
Researchers British University of Southampton They discovered the phenomenon using a telescope with which they searched the universe for objects that rapidly change brightness. Such a rapidly changing brightness could indicate a star explosion, also known as a supernova.
But the explosion they discovered was not a supernova. A supernova “only” lasts a few months, whereas this explosion has been going on for years. The phenomenon, which has been dubbed “Scary Barbie” because of its size, looks more like a “Tidal disturbance has occurredThis means that the black hole is swallowing a star.
A team led by astronomers made history by capturing the largest cosmic explosion ever 🌌🤯
Ten times brighter than any known supernova, it’s thought to be a massive cloud of gas that’s been heavily disrupted by a supermassive black hole.
Learn more 👉 https://t.co/GmzIROwDGh pic.twitter.com/dHnVRvxoZ5
University of Southampton May 12, 2023
Bigger explosion than expected
However, it now appears that the explosion is larger than the researchers first thought. Because it is not the only one Tidal disturbance has occurredBecause it seems that not one star, but a huge cloud of gas a thousand times more massive than the Sun, is being swallowed up by a black hole. Because the explosion is so massive, it is about three times brighter than a normal explosion Tidal disturbance has occurred.
The explosion is now being monitored by a whole series of telescopes. To learn more about it, the researchers will look at the blast at several wavelengths in the near future. In this way, they hope that more will become clear, among other things, about the temperature of the gas clouds that explode.
“With new research facilities that will be available in the coming years, we hope to learn more,” the researchers wrote. “It is possible that these phenomena, even if they are very rare, are so powerful that they play a major role in changes in the cores of galaxies.”
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Astronomers discover the largest cosmic explosion ever: ‘very rare’