Astronomers have finally classified a tremendous space explosion first noticed in 2018 – an event so bright, it was thought to have originated much closer to us than we eventually realised. Thanks to two additional discoveries, it now belongs to an entirely new class of giant space explosions.
This sort of thing keeps happening in astronomy. I mean, not something as weird as this, necessarily, but it seems like every time I turn around someone is saying, “Wow, we didn’t expect this,” or “We really don’t know what’s causing that,” or whatever.
This time, it’s these weird explosions:
These bursts of energy are extremely powerful and extremely fast, blasting vast amounts of matter into space at intense velocities. Astronomers have named the new class Fast Blue Optical Transients, or FBOTs.
I expect some aliens are at war, probably. To be fair, that doesn’t appear to be one of the hypotheses so far put forward by astronomers.