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Astronomer Have Discovered A Mysterious Object, Which Is 570 Billion Times Brighter Than The Sun

 So brighter that it pushes the energy limit of physics.

Billions of light years away, there is a massive ball of hot gas that is brighter than hundreds of billions of suns. It is tough to imagine something so bright. So, what is it? Astronomers are not really sure, but they have a couple of theories.

They anticipated that it may be a very rare type of supernova — known as a magnetar — but the one can be so powerful that it pushes the energy limits of physics, or in other words, the mightiest supernova was ever seen today.

This object is so shining that astronomers are having a really hard time finding a way to describe it. “If it's in fact a magnetar, it's as if nature took each thing, we noticed about magnetars and turned it up to 11,” claimed Krzysztof Stanek, who is a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University and the team's co-principal analyzer, comedically implicating it is off the charts on a scale of 1 to 10. The object was first detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey of Supernovae (ASAS-SN or “assassin”), which is a small network of telescopes used to spot bright objects in the universe. Although this object is extremely bright, it still can’t be sighted by the naked eye because it is 3.8 billion light years away.

ASAS-SN, since it began in 2014, has located nearly 250 supernovae, however, this discovery, ASASSN-15lh, stands out because of its absolute magnitude. It is 200 times more powerful than the norm supernova, 570 billion times brighter than the sun, and 20 times brighter than all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy merged.

Todd Thompson, professor of astronomy at Ohio State, has one possible illustration. The supernova could have produced an extremely rare type of star called a millisecond magnetar — a quickly spinning and very dense star with a crazy powerful magnetic field.

This is how insane magnetars are: to shine as bright as it does, this magnetar would have to rotate at least 1,000 times a second, and transform all of that rotational energy to light with pretty much 100 percent efficiency — making it the greatest example of a magnetar that is physically possible.

Given those limitations,” Thompson said, “Will we ever see anything brighter than this? If it truly is a magnetar, then the answer is primarily no.”


In the future, the Hubble Space Telescope will try to resolve this mystery by giving astronomers time to see the host galaxy nearby this object. The team may find that this bright object lies in the very center of a huge galaxy — meaning that the object is not a magnetar at all — and the gas around it is actually proof of a supermassive black hole.

If that is the occasion, then the bright light could be explained by a new kind of event, said research co-author Christopher Kochanek, professor of astronomy at Ohio State. It would be something that has never, ever been seen before in the middle of a galaxy.

Whether it is a magnetar, a supermassive black hole, or something else entirely, the results are very likely going to lead to new thinking about how objects are formed in the universe.

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