Astronomers detected the disappearance of a star within a dwarf galaxy, an unusual phenomenon captured thanks to a long-range telescope
A group of astronomers detected the disappearance of a star within a dwarf galaxy, an unusual phenomenon captured thanks to the long-range telescope (VTLfor its acronym in English from the European Southern Observatory (THAT).
Scientists at this research institute, based in Garching, Germany, studied this massive star, which is 75 million light years from the land, from 2001 to 2011, concluding that he was in his last stage of life.
In 2019 they again observed the constellation Aquarium, to which this star belongs, but did not detect any trace of it in the dwarf galaxy Kinman, which used to house it.
One explanation, astronomers have clarified, is that its brightness has decreased and has been hidden by cosmic dustAlthough there is an alternative possibility that attracts scientists more: the star could have collapsed into a black hole without becoming a supernova.
If so, as explained by the head of the investigation, Andrew Allan, it would be “in front of the first detection of a massive star of this type that ends his life in this way ”.
According to the studies that exist so far on the last stages of the life of the stars, a body this size would normally drift into a supernova, a stellar explosion that scientists could have picked up without too much trouble.
After that, the remnants of the star would generally form a smaller neutron star or a black hole, the state in which the observed star could be after having completely skipped the supernova stage.
For the astronomers who published the study of this case on Tuesday, this situation would be “extremely unusual“Although certainly more interesting than the alternative explanation that its brightness has simply decreased and is impossible to detect with current tools.
However, they explained that the improvement of technology will allow them in the future, thanks to the ESO’s new telescope which will be put into operation in 2025, solve the mysteries that this star and other celestial bodies have left for science.
With information from .