Finding the Failed Supernovae


When high mass stars end their lives, they explode in monumental supernovae. But, when the most massive of these monsters die, theory has predicted that they may not even reveal as much as a whimper as their massive cores implode. Instead, the implosion occurs so quickly, that the rebound and all photons created during it, are immediately swallowed into the newly formed black hole. Estimates have suggested that as much as 20% of stars that are massive enough to form supernovae collapse directly into a black hole without an explosion. These “failed supernovae” would simply disappear from the sky leaving such predictions seemingly impossible to verify. But a new paper explores the potential for neutrinos, subatomic particles that rarely interact with normal matter, could escape during the collapse, and be detected, heralding the death of a giant.

via Finding the Failed Supernovae.

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