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Researchers may have witnessed the birth of a black hole



Officially named AT2018cow, the object was nicknamed "The Cow" (Cow). If it is indeed a neutron star or a black hole that can both form when a massive star collapses, it will help scientists understand what exactly is happening when that type of event occurs. "We know from the theory that black holes and neutron stars form when a star dies," said Professor Raffaella Margutti, a professor at Northwestern University, "but we never saw her right after birth." Margutti led the study of Northwestern University to this brilliant event and presented the results of her team at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The work is also published in the Astrophysical Journal .

At first, researchers thought the cow might be a supernova, but since a typical supernova was 1

0 to 100 times brighter, scientists sought alternative explanations. They also used a series of observatories to study the cow and view them with X-rays, hard X-rays, radio waves, and gamma rays, giving them a broader view of the cow.

And a few happy breaks have helped. The dwarf galaxy the cow is in is about two hundred million light-years away, which may seem like a lot, but is quite close to astronomical standards. In addition, during the event, there was less than usual material around the Cow that astronomers could see through to watch The Cow's "central machine".

Other researchers involved in the work talk about the formation of a black hole or a neutron star. However, some believe that the data suggests that the cow is the result of a black hole that engulfs a white dwarf.

Although it is still unclear exactly what the cow is, scientists could recognize the future through the cooperative manner in which it was observed, further events in this regard. "The cow is a prime example of a kind of observation that is becoming increasingly important in astronomy: rapid response to transient events," said John O'Meara, chief scientist at Keck Observatory. "Looking to the future, we are implementing new observation strategies and telescope instruments that will enable us to be as fast as possible in the sky and in science."


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