It could be evidence of a rare type of supernova.
Scientists may have discovered a rare and (frankly) disturbing cosmic event: a black hole that eats away a star from the inside and causes a supernova.
Astronomers believe that the black hole was initially engulfed by a massive star, according to Newsweek. That then began to destroy and collapse the core of the star, essentially devouring it from the inside out like a parasite. The event culminated in the star going into a complete supernova.
Massive radio signals
The bloody cosmic event caught the attention of researchers in 2017, when the Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico detected the massive burst of radio energy from the supernova. Dillon Dong, a researcher and astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, has decided to investigate the matter with his team.
They eventually discovered that the black hole and the star were binary stars, two stars that orbit each other in a kind of cosmic dance. One of the stars eventually collapsed into a black hole, but both remained in orbit … that is, until the black hole entered the star’s atmosphere around 300 years ago and began to eat it up.
Dong and his team published an article of their results in Science magazine.
Not only was the black hole parasitic event new and bizarre, it is also evidence of a long-theorized cosmic event called a “fusion-triggered supernova.” This happens when a star goes supernova after merging with a neutron star or black hole.
While scientists suspect that an event like this could happen, they don’t have hard evidence for this yet. However, the findings of Dong and his team could point to a supernova caused by a merger.
However, scientists are still skeptical, with some speculation that the supernova may have been caused by other factors, such as the mass moving away from the star. according to Popular Science.