Back in 2015, a group of astronomers spotted what they original thought to be the brightest supernova that had even been discovered, it was a nice thought at first, however, the story seems to be a little more somber than what was first expected, as in fact, it was actually a black hole that was in the process of eating a star.
This news was found out today after some astronomers taken a closer look at the “supernova” with the Hubble Space Telescope, with which they found the supper in action.
The event has been named ASASSN-15lh, and was so bright at one point that it was seen 20 times more luminous than all of the other stars in the Milky Way combined, which was the reason why it was originally thought to be a supernova.
After their observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and the telescopes from the European Southern Observatory were completed, an international team of astronomers found that ASASSN-15lh went through “three distinct phases”, which they concluded might mean that this is more indictive of a black hole tearing something apart, rather than a supernova.
They also noticed temperature increases and a re-brightening of ultraviolet light, which is also something that doesn’t happen when stars explode.
And so they decided that it was not a supernova at all.