Kilonova: Hubble detected a massive star explosion

Supernovas, while impressive, are not exactly new to the scientific community. It is the result of the natural cycle of many stars, which, in their final stages, collapse and die. For this reason, surprising space researchers is quite an achievement – which does not mean that such scholars do not dedicate themselves to the utmost to witness unprecedented facts. It was thus, analyzing data collected by the Hubble telescope, that a group came across a new category of explosion: the kilonova.

According to NASA, kilonovas arise from the collision between two neutron stars, nuclei of stars that are languishing. This generates so much energy that it has a brightness that is 100 million times more powerful than that of the Sun – even creating black holes. The astonishment, in this case, is related to the absurd emission of infrared radiation, which is not justified by traditional explanations of gamma ray bursts.

Wen-fai Fong, the leader of the analysis, explains: “Given what we know about the radio and the X-rays from this explosion, it just doesn’t make sense. The infrared emission we found with Hubble is very bright. In this puzzle, a piece is not fitting properly. ”

Furthermore, he says, if the equipment was not watching the event at that very moment, the team would never be able to detect it. Therefore, they do not know very well what to do with the information.

Something wrong is not right

Tanmoy Laskar, co-author of the study, says that, from the moment the data arrived, those involved were dedicated to unraveling the mechanism responsible for the emission of the light in question, but that new approaches were necessary over time.

“As soon as we received the observations, we had to change our way of thinking, as we realized that we would have to discard conventional analysis. There was something new going on. After that, it was up to us to find out what that meant for the physics behind these highly explosive explosions. energetic “, details the scientist.

Ultimately, the researchers say, it is possible that the “victims” of the collision created a magnetar – a particularly massive neutron star with a high-intensity magnetic field. This hypothesis, they say, would justify the strange readings, but there is no certainty without additional information – which could take years to emerge again.

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