Two strange flashes discovered in space

(ORDO NEWS) — Cosmic flares can be the result of explosions of stars, in which streams of matter are accelerated, accelerated by a black hole.

Astronomers have already observed a similar outbreak and gave it the name Cow (“Cow”). Now researchers are gathering a whole herd – ZTF18abvkwla (“Koala”) and CSS161010. By the way, discovered in June 2018, the “Cow” got its nickname due to automatically assigned letters when forming the official astronomical name – “AT2018cow”.

These flares are much brighter than regular supernovae, but they also last much less – several days instead of several weeks. Astronomers can only guess what causes such a surge of energy. “We are at an early stage of ‘zoology’ in this class,” says astronomer Anna Ho of the California Institute of Technology.

This is clearly an unusual type of supernova, which, when exploding, also emits radio waves in addition to a short burst of light. These radio waves can be generated by accelerated electrons, which pierce the dense shell of the material during the explosion. If an aging star loses its outer layers before the explosion, then a very dense crust may appear in it.

According to astrophysicist Dean Coppejans of Northwestern University in Evanston (Illinois, USA), this may be the result of the destruction of a star by a black hole.

When the “Cow” was discovered, scientists suggested that it was created by a certain cosmic “engine” – a dense object like a black hole or a rotating neutron star, accelerating the flows of matter. Now, in light of new discoveries, this hypothesis seems most plausible to scientists, says astrophysicist Brian Metzger of Columbia University.

The speed of the ejected matter in one of the outbreaks reached 38 percent of the speed of light, and the other – more than 55 percent. The “cow” threw away material at a speed of 10 percent of the speed of light. The most powerful ejection was also accompanied by x-rays, which could appear as a result of the action of the space “engine”.


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