Scientists observe flattest explosion ever seen in space

Scientists have been puzzled by an explosion the size of our solar system because of the form of the explosion, which is contrary to all we know about explosions in space and resembles that of an incredibly flat disk.

Bright Fast Blue Optical Transients (FBOTs), a very uncommon class of explosions that are significantly less frequent than other explosions like supernovas, were the type of explosion that was witnessed. In 2018, researchers found the first brilliant FBOT, which they dubbed "the cow."

Since all stars in the cosmos have spherical shapes, stellar explosions nearly invariably have spherical shapes as well. The shape of a disk emerged a few days after the explosion was found, making it the largest spherical explosion ever observed in space, even though it happened 180 million light years distant. It's possible that the star's material shed right before exploding contributed to this portion of the explosion.

It is believed that this finding, which was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, may help us better understand how bright FBOT explosions happen.

"Very little is known about FBOT explosions—they just don't behave like exploding stars should, they are too bright, and they evolve too quickly," said Dr. Justyn Maund, the study's lead author from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield. Simply said, they are strange, and this latest discovery makes them more stranger.

We had no idea that explosions could be this spherical, so maybe this new discovery will help us understand them a little better. The stars involved may have formed a disk right before they perished, or these may be failed supernovas, in which the star's core collapses into a blackhole or neutron star, which subsequently consumes the remainder of the star.

It defies our notions of how stars may burst in the cosmos, and what we now know for sure is that the degrees of asymmetry documented are a vital component in understanding these mysterious explosions.

After entirely by chance observing a flash of polarized light, scientists discovered the discovery. Using the astronomical equivalent of polaroid sunglasses and the Liverpool Telescope, which is housed at Liverpool John Moores University and is situated on the island of La Palma, they were able to determine the polarization of the explosion.

They were able to determine the form of the explosion by analyzing the polarization, basically seeing something the size of our solar system in a galaxy 180 million light years distant. They were able to map the explosion's boundaries and recreate the 3D geometry of the explosion using the data, which revealed how flat it was.

The Liverpool Telescope's mirror is just 2.0 meters in diameter, but by analyzing the polarization, scientists were able to recreate the explosion's form as if the telescope were 750 kilometers in diameter.

In order to find additional FBOTs and learn more about them, researchers will now launch a fresh study with the worldwide Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile.