In 2019, a star of 2.5 million times brighter than the sun disappeared, observed by scientists. The explanations of its disappearance were unambiguous.
But now in a new paper published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on 30th June 2020, a space detective team has attempted to find the causes of the disappearance of the star. There are many explanations, one of which is the researcher wrote, the massive star died and collapsed into a black hole without undergoing a supernova explosion first — a truly “unprecedented” act of stellar suicide.
“We may have detected one of the most massive stars of the local universe going gently into the night,” Jose Groh, an astronomer at Trinity College Dublin and a co-author of a new paper on the star, said in a statement.
“If true, this would be the first direct detection of such a monster star ending its life in this manner,” study lead-author Andrew Allan, also of Trinity College, said in the statement.
The star is located about 75 million light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. was well studied between 2001 and 2011. The bloated orb was a superb example of a luminous blue variable (LBV) — a massive star approaching the end of its life and prone to unpredictable variations in brightness. Stars like this are rare, with only a handful confirmed in the universe so far.
When a star much bigger than the sun ends its life, it goes through a supernova explosion. These explosions are easily located in the universe as they leave a stain with ionized gas and powerful radiation for many light-years in every direction.