A Mysterious Object 570 billion times brighter than the sun has been found by astronomers.
So brighter that it pushes the energy limit of physics.
A huge ball of hot gas, brighter than hundreds of billions of suns, is billions of light years distant. Something that brilliant is difficult to fathom. What is it then? Although they have a few possibilities, astronomers are not quite certain.
They assumed that it may be a very uncommon sort of supernova, known as a magnetar, but that it might also be the most powerful supernova ever observed as of today since it could exceed the energy limitations of physics.
Astronomers are struggling mightily to explain this object since it is so bright. Krzysztof Stanek, an astronomy professor at Ohio State University and the team’s co-principal analyst, said comedically that if it is a magnetar, “it’s as if nature took every thing we noted about magnetars and ramped it up to 11.” He added that it is off the charts on a scale of 1 to 10. The All-Sky Automated Survey of Supernovae (ASAS-SN or “assassin”), a modest network of telescopes intended to find luminous things in the cosmos, made the first discovery of the item.
Even though this object is very brilliant, its distance from Earth—3.8 billion light years—prevents us from seeing it with our eyes alone.
Almost 250 supernovae have been found by ASAS-SN since it started in 2014, however this finding, ASASSN-15lh, stands out due to its absolute magnitude. It is 570 billion times brighter than the sun, 200 times more intense than the average supernova, and 20 times brighter than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy combined.
One example comes to mind, according to Todd Thompson, an astronomy professor at Ohio State. A millisecond magnetar is a very unusual sort of rapidly spinning, highly dense star with an incredibly strong magnetic field, which the supernova may have created.
This magnetar is the best example of a magnetar that is physically conceivable; nonetheless, to shine as brightly as it does, it would have to revolve at least 1,000 times per second and convert all of that rotational energy to light with about 100 percent efficiency.
Will we ever see anything brighter than this, given those constraints,” Thompson questioned. The answer is mainly no if it really is a magnetar.
The Hubble Space Telescope will eventually allow scientists to observe the host galaxy close to this item in an effort to unravel this riddle. The researchers may discover that this luminous object is not a magnetar at all, but rather a supermassive black hole, as evidenced by the gas surrounding it, because it is located at the very core of a giant galaxy.
If that is the case, then a novel type of event could be able to account for the intense light, according to Christopher Kochanek, an astronomy professor at Ohio State and a co-author of the study. At the center of a galaxy, it would be something that has never, ever, ever been seen before.
The findings will probably inspire new theories about how objects are created in the cosmos, whether it be a magnetar, a supermassive black hole, or something else else.
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