A Massive Star just Vanished from The Sky – Is There any Scientific Explanation?

We all know that the Universe does a very good job when it comes to revealing various cosmic objects to us. But a recent discovery proves that the opposite is also available. Cosmic objects can simply disappear from our sight without leaving a trace, and they do not care if we can come up with a scientific explanation or not.

Astronomers had been observing a gigantic star that’s 100 times more massive than our Sun, and it’s located about 75 million light-years away from Earth. But the star simply vanished without leaving a trace, astonishing the astronomers.

The Kinman Dwarf is the stars’ name

The vanishing star is (actually was) located in the galaxy PHL 293B. The scientists were busy studying the low-metallicity environment of the galaxy, but their plans were ruined mysteriously. The star was last seen in 2011 with the Espresso instrument from Chile’s Very Large Telescope. Even using an additional instrument called the X-Shooter, astronomers still couldn’t find the star in the region where it was initially found.

Two scientific explanations emerge

Don’t hurry up and blame aliens or some mythological creature for the vanishing of the star. Astronomers do have some scientific explanations for the peculiar event. The star could have collapsed into a massive black hole without producing bright supernova. As for the other possibility, the cosmic object could still be there, but its light is dimmer and gets obscured by a cloud of debris.

One official statement from the report says:

Given that the majority of such events in deep surveys will be much fainter than PHL 293B and located much farther, a detailed analysis of this object in the local Universe provides an important benchmark for understanding the late-time evolution of massive stars in low-metallicity environments and their remnants.

But the cosmic observations will not end here, as the astronomers will be examining the Kinman Dwarf by using the Hubble Space Telescope. The goal is to find certain evidence of the star’s demise.

The new study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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