ScienceSpace

NASA Telescopes Observed Mysterious Blast in Constellation Hercules

AT2018cow blast

A brief and surprising shine seen in the night sky on June 16, 2018, perplexed space experts and astrophysicists over the globe. The occasion — called AT2018cow and nicknamed “the Cow” after the adventitious last letters in its official name — is not normal for any divine upheaval at any point seen previously, provoking numerous hypotheses about its source.

AT2018cow blast figure

More than three days, the Cow created a sudden blast of light somewhere around 10 times more brilliant than usual supernova, and afterward it blurred throughout the following couple of months. This bizarre occasion happened inside or close to a star-forming galaxy known as CGCG 137-068, situated around 200 million light-years away in the constellation Hercules. The Cow was first seen by the NASA-funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System telescope in Hawaii.

 

References:

Kuin, N. P. M., et al. (2018). “Swift spectra of AT2018cow: A White Dwarf Tidal Disruption Event?”.

Margutti, R., et al. (2018). “An embedded X-ray source shines through the aspherical AT2018cow: revealing the inner workings of the most luminous fast-evolving optical transients.”

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