10/01/2019 11:15 pm
Courtesy of R. Margutti et al (2019)
The evolution of supernova explosion AT2018cow as observed at soft X-rays with NASA’s Swift (red circles) and ESA’s XMM-Newton (red triangles) space observatories, and at hard X-rays with NASA’s NuSTAR (orange circles) and ESA’s INTEGRAL (yellow circles) satellites.
The supernova was first spotted on 16 June 2018 with the ATLAS telescope in Hawaii. The data shown in this animation were collected between 22 June and 22 July.
These observations revealed a source of powerful X-rays at the centre of this unprecedentedly bright and rapidly evolving stellar explosion, suggesting that it could either be a nascent black hole or neutron star with a powerful magnetic field, sucking in the surrounding material.
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