The “Cow” turns out to be the “flattest” explosion in the Universe

Scientists discovered a new feature of an amazing supernova outbreak, which was discovered in 2018 and named “Cow”. They concluded that this explosion was very asymmetric. It mostly took place in one plane.

“Cow” in the artist’s image. Source:

What is the Cow doing in the sky?

Scientists from the University of Sheffield discovered an amazing thing about a giant explosion recorded in 2018 and called “Cow”. Then scientists recorded an outbreak in the galaxy, which is 180 million years away from us, which was then considered a supernova.

However, scientists immediately noticed strange features in it. The flare was noticeably stronger and noticeably shifted to the blue region of the spectrum compared to other supernovae that were observed before. Later it has become clear that it fades faster than other similar explosions. And since this event received the designation AT2018cow and the last three letters made up the English word “cow”, then such events began to be called that way.

In general, today we know about 5 “cows”. And the more scientists observe them, the more it seems that they have no relation to ordinary supernovae. In addition, they differ quite a lot from each other, so astronomers suspect that these are not one, but several different classes of objects grouped into the category of “fast blue optical transients”.

The flattest explosion in the Universe

Actually, the new discovery began with an attempt by scientists using a telescope located on the island of La Palma to determine the polarization of the first known “cow”. This is the name of the situation when the oscillations of electromagnetic waves, which is light, occur in the same plane.

Studying the AT2018cow observation data, scientists came to the conclusion that about 7 percent of the total light in it was polarized. This allowed scientists to reconstruct the shape of the explosion as if they studied it through a telescope with a mirror diameter of 625 km.

It turned out that the explosion had the shape of a disk with a diameter of the Solar System. Scientists compare it to a pie. And this is really surprising, because until now it has been believed that “cows” are still supernovae, although very unusual. And this is astounding, because until now it has been believed that “cows” are still supernovae, although very unusual. However, all gazes have been very close to the sphere. At least, there were no disk-like ones among them.

Therefore, scientists are faced with the question of what a “cow” really is. Scientists are still inclined to believe that these are still supernovae. Just before death, a star forms disks of matter around itself. Or for some reason, a black hole and a neutron star, which are born in the center, thus destroy the rest of the stars.

According to

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