A strange cataclysm in a nearby galaxy was observed in the sky above Hawaii last week, leaving astronomers all around the world baffled as to what caused the tremendously bright flash.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before in the local universe,” astrophysicist Stephen Smartt of Queen’s University in Hawaii stated. The discovery was first reported on June 16 in Astronomer’s Telegram, an internet service for astronomers to immediately report new and noteworthy discoveries.
AT2018cow, or “cow” for short, was given to the object. Smartt saw it right away since it was so distinct from a typical explosive star. Most of these events take many weeks to reach their peak, but the object has gotten nearly ten times brighter than a typical supernova in just three days.
Other astronomers were quickly drawn to the item. The ATLAS sighting was followed the following week by nearly two dozen teams of astronomers using telescopes on at least four continents and in space.
These additional observations simply contributed to the object’s mystique. It was extremely brilliant across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from X-rays to radio frequencies.
These are only the preliminary steps of the scientific process. AT2018’s findings will require months more research and analysis before they can be properly released. However, this is a fun opportunity to see astronomers become enthusiastic about something weird and maybe new.