An unstable massive star suddenly disappeared from view, and astronomers are not sure whether it collapsed into a star. Black hole Or play hide and seek behind the galaxy dust.
The star is too far away to be discovered alone, but it appears in the spectrum or light signal of the Kingman dwarf galaxy, which is about 75 million light-years away from Earth. The spectrum shows that the distant galaxy contains late blue Variable star It is well known that it is 2.5 million times brighter than the sun. This type of star has temperament, and its spectrum and brightness (intrinsic brightness) can change drastically.
The characteristics of blue variable stars appeared in observations between 2001
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Moreover, the Kingman dwarf shows no sign SupernovaIn the following years, the star explosion-led the team to speculate that the star may have collapsed directly into the black hole instead of flying the supernova first.
Lead researcher Andrew Allan said: “We were surprised to find that the star has disappeared. A student at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, In the ESO statement said. Allen added that if the star does change from a star directly to a black hole, “this will be the first direct discovery of this giant star that ends life in this way.”
To learn more, the team analyzed old data collected by X-shooter and VLT between 2002 and 2009. (ESPRESSO was installed only in 2016). Other telescopes are also used for historical research. Between the VLT’s spectrometer and other observatories, astronomers easily confirmed the existence of stars that are now missing from older observations.
The archive search also shows new information. Old data suggests that this star may perform well. break out This work was completed sometime after the scientist’s last observation in 2011. This explosion will cause a lot of mass loss and will cause the star’s luminosity to temporarily increase.
After this outbreak, astronomers were confused. If the star does indeed collapse into the black hole, then this is an unusual path of life later Blue star; blue star Just like the one in the Kingman gnome. Usually, the sequence will first see the star explode into a supernova, and then pull it into the black hole due to the strong gravity generated by the event.
Astronomers believe that one possible explanation is that the star may have lost so much mass that it has become less luminous and is now partially hidden by the dust in the galaxy.
Astronomers plan to follow up their work with a more powerful observatory when they are ready. ESO Very large telescope The combined aperture of the VLT on the four telescopes is 107 feet (32 m). In comparison, it will have only a 127-foot (39 m) reflector. This will make it large enough to find a single star in a distant galaxy (such as the Kingman dwarf star). The new telescope is scheduled to light up for the first time in 2025.
A study The results of this study were published in the Monthly Bulletin of the Royal Astronomical Society on Tuesday, June 30.
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