Is there life after death? This is one of the questions we all ask ourselves. And as for the stars, astronomers today provide an answer. At least some of them seem to continue sending us signs of life after their deaths!
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The astronomersastronomers capture explosions that occur almost everywhere in our universe. Sometimes billions of light years from our Earth. Very diverse explosions that they manage to classify based on their characteristics. And those they call “Luminous fast blue optical transient” (LFBOT), understand, the “fast bright blue optical light transients” belong to these. Surprisingly bright explosions – in blue, indicating the heat released by the phenomenon – and short-lived – they appear and fade within a few days, while supernovae, for example, take several weeks or even months to appear. remain very mysterious eyeseyes astronomers.
Researchers from Cornell University (United States) report in the journal Nature, which they discovered while studying one of these fast blue optical light transients. The one they very officially call AT2022tsd, but they nickname it ” Tasmanian Devil “. Of the lightninglightning which lasted only a few minutes and was as powerful as the first explosion, but which arrived 100 days later.
Completely unexpected flashes of light
“We had never seen this anywhere before”, says Anna Ho, professor of astronomy at Cornell University. That’s why the researchers immediately called colleagues for help and asked about fifteen telescopes around the world to provide them with additional data about the phenomenon.
Astronomers were eventually able to confirm at least fourteen flashesflashes irregular light for a period of 120 days. “Probably only a fraction of the totalsays Anna Ho. And surprisingly, instead of fading steadily as you might expect, the source briefly brightened again. Even. Even. » All this makes this fast blue optical light a little stranger and stranger exoticexotic than researchers had already expected.
Stars have life after death
The team at Cornell University now believes that the driving force behind this strange activity could be nothing other than a stellar corpse. A black hole or a neutron star. But the exact processes are yet to be confirmed. Still, these observations can provide new information about the life cycle of stars. Sort of like observing a LFBOT is like witnessing a star’s transition, not from life to death, but from life to life after death…
“Because these stars are not just dead. They remain active and send us signals that we know how to detect”, specifies Anna Ho. There is reason to hope that the study of these newly discovered flashes will help astronomers unlock some of the secrets of our universe. Like how the properties of stars can help predict how they will die and what kind of corpse they will produce. Fast rotation or a strong magnetic field are probably the most important elements in the appearance of an LFBOT. However, it remains entirely possible that these transients do not originate from a supernovasupernova conventional, but rather an explosion caused by the mergermerger of a star with a black holeblack hole.