On June 16, 2018, a mysterious glowing object exploded in the sky, some 200 million light years from our planet. The phenomenon could be observed from the ATLAS telescope of Hawaii, although at that time astronomers did not know exactly what had caused it.
However, now scientists believe that it could have been the birth of a black hole or a neutron star, which would represent the first time such an event would have been observed.
A group of 45 international astronomers analyzed the event, combining images from various sources, including hard X-rays (high energy and shorter wavelength) and radio waves.
The results reveal that it would be the first time that human beings have been able to observe the death of star dies to give place to a black hole. This research was presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle (Washington, United States), and will be published soon in the Astrophysical Journal.
At first, the experts considered that it could be a supernova, but “what we observed challenged our current knowledge about star death,” said the study’s lead author, Raffaella Margutti, in a statement from Northwestern University.
In addition, astronomers were able to identify typical patterns of objects that attract matter in their environment, be it a black hole or a neutron star, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA), which used its space ray observatory XMM-Newton to study the event.
The experts will continue analyzing XMM-Newton data to try to understand the nature of what happened, according to study co-author Giulia Migliori, from the University of Bologna (Italy).