Observations using 21 telescopes of the European VLBI Network (EVN) have revealed that a cosmic explosion, called AT2018cow most likely formed a neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field – known as a magnetar. The high-resolution radio images produced in this new study show physical properties of the stellar remnant that make alternative explanations less likely, say scientists.
Among short-lived sky phenomena, AT2018cow (The Cow) is an astronomical event like no other. First detected in 2018, it received its memorable name by chance according to alphabetical protocol to classify such events. However, it was not just its name that makes it memorable. AT2018cow was identified in a relatively nearby galaxy (about 200 million light years away). Its proximity, exceptionally brief brightness and unusually high temperature led to widespread attention upon discovery…. Read the full press release here.
(c) Image Artist’s impression of the cosmic cow. Credit: Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China.