Astronomers May Have Just Spotted the Birth of a Black Hole
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For the first time, astronomers have spotted the ultra-dense core of a star in its explosive death throes — and it might be turning into a new black hole.
On June 17, scientists at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii spotted an incredibly-bright stellar explosion, many times brighter than a supernova, that they nicknamed “the Cow.”
Now, further study has revealed that the Cow resulted in either an ultra-dense neutron star or a brand-new black hole — and in either case, spotting the cosmic event is a world first for Earthling scientists.
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According to Keck Observatory astronomers who spoke to The Verge about their work, which will soon be published in Astrophysical Journal, the massive explosion is a sign that a massive, dying star cast away its outer layers to leave behind a massive, dense core.