Officially called AT2018cow, the object was dubbed "The Cow" and whether it is actually a neutron star or a black hole – both can form when a massive star collapses – will help scientists understand what exactly takes place when this type of event occurs. "We know from the theory that black holes and neutron stars are formed when a star dies," said Northwestern University professor, Raffaella Margutti, in a statement, "but we never saw them immediately after they were born. Survey of Northwestern University on the luminous event and presented the results of his team at the American Astronomical Society meeting.The work will also be published in the Astrophysical Journal .
Initially , the researchers thought that The Cow could be a supernova, but because it was 1
And even a few lucky breaks they gave a hand. The dwarf galaxy that houses The Cow is about two hundred million light years away, which may seem like a lot, but it's close enough to astronomical standards. Also, during the event there was less of the usual material surrounding The Cow, allowing astronomers to see through it the "central engine" of The Cow.
Other researchers involved in the work support the notion of forming a black hole or a neutron star. But some believe the data suggests that The Cow is the result of a black hole swallowing a white dwarf.
Although it is not yet clear what The Cow is, the collaborative way in which it was observed could help scientists identify more events like the future. "The cow is a great example of a type of observation that is becoming critical in astronomy: rapid response to transient events," Keck's chief scientist John O & # 39; Meara said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we are implementing new observation and instrumentation policies for telescopes that enable us to be as fast as possible in the sky and in science."