The Universe never ceases to amaze us. There are multiple distinct types of cosmic explosions that are known. One such type is supernovae, which are the result of the explosive deaths of massive stars. These can be incredibly powerful, releasing a significant amount of energy and briefly outshining their entire host galaxies.
Another type is gamma-ray bursts, which are the most potent explosions in the Universe. They are believed to be caused by the collapse of massive stars or the collision of neutron stars, and they release intense bursts of high-energy radiation.
Let’s not also forget about novae and dwarf novae are types of explosions that occur in binary star systems where one star is a white dwarf that accretes material from its companion. When enough material accumulates on the white dwarf’s surface, it can lead to an explosion.
But perhaps some textbooks need to be rewritten.
A recent cosmic explosion was the size of our Solar System
Astronomers have observed a unique explosion, named “the cow,” located 180 million light-years away that challenges our current understanding of cosmic explosions, as SciTechDaily reveals. The explosion, which is a Fast Blue Optical Transient (FBOT), exhibited a significantly flatter shape than previously thought possible, resembling a disc rather than a sphere. This FBOT is only the fifth one ever seen, and scientists are uncertain about how they occur, but the discovery has helped solve part of the puzzle. The star that exploded may have been surrounded by a dense disk, or it may have been a failed supernova. This observation brings us closer to understanding FBOT explosions, which are much less common than other explosions, such as supernovas.
Our solar system is quite large, but the exact size can be difficult to define precisely. It is typically defined as the region of space that is gravitationally bound to the Sun, which includes the eight planets and their moons, dwarf planets such as Pluto and Ceres, asteroids, comets, and other objects. The outermost reaches of the solar system are defined by the heliopause, which is the boundary where the solar wind meets the interstellar medium.
In terms of scale, the distance from the Sun to the outermost known object in the solar system, the dwarf planet Eris, is about 97 astronomical units (AU). One AU is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, which is about 93 million miles (149.6 million kilometers).