New type of supernova may have been discovered

Premature Supernova triggered by black hole or neutron star crashing into its companion star

A new type of supernova may have been spotted for the first time ever with scientists saying that this premature supernova was a result of a violent and quick collision between a black hole or a neutron star with its companion star.

The thing we know about supernovas is that they are cosmic events caused when stars run out of fuel and they eventually explode. But new observations made by the Very Large Array Sky Survey indicate existence of a cosmic even that is a supernova like we have never seen before.

According to scientists who studied the data by the VLA Sky Survey, they spotted a massive star’s explosion that was most likely caused by by a black hole or neutron star companion spiraling in and colliding with it. Black hole or a neutron star and a companion star system aren’t new as previous observations have yielded many such system. however, these system end up getting destroyed after millions or billions of years, when they collide, they can create gravitational waves.

However, in the case of the observations made by VLA Sky Survey the star and black hole or neutron star collided very quickly, creating a huge blast of radio waves that was seen by the VLA Sky Survey. These waves are called radio transients – typically known by their short-lived nature and bright sources of radio waves burn out quickly like a match lit in a dark room.

Radio transients are an excellent way to identify unusual astronomical events, such as massive stars that explode and blast out energetic jets or the mergers of neutron stars.

As Dong sifted through the VLA’s massive dataset, he singled out an extremely luminous source of radio waves from the VLA survey called VT 1210+4956. This source is tied for the brightest radio transient ever associated with a supernova.

So, what happened? After careful modeling, the team determined the most likely explanation—an event that involved some of the same cosmic players that are known to generate gravitational waves.

They speculated that a leftover compact remnant of a star that had previously exploded—that is, a black hole or a neutron star—had been closely orbiting around a star. Over time, the black hole had begun siphoning away the atmosphere of its companion star and ejecting it into space, forming the torus of gas. This process dragged the two objects ever closer until the black hole plunged into the star, causing the star to collapse and explode as a supernova.

The X-rays were produced by a jet launched from the core of the star at the moment of its collapse. The radio waves, by contrast, were produced years later as the exploding star reached the torus of gas that had been ejected by the inspiraling compact object.

Source
Caltech
Back to top button