Glowing Blackholes

(Courtesy: NASA E/PO, Sonoma State University, Aurore Simonnet)

The birth of a black hole may be signalled by a characteristic cosmic flash, according to researchers in the US. It was previously thought that only the most massive of black holes would produce gamma-ray bursts – narrow beams of electromagnetic radiation that shoot out of the poles of the collapsing star – when they form. But other dying stars were thought to produce a black hole without any kind of flash – seemingly disappearing from the visible sky in an event known as an “unnova”. The US researchers’ work suggests that unnovae might also have their own characteristic flash, allowing astronomers to witness the birth of stellar- and intermediate-mass black holes. See:
Cosmic flashes could herald birth of black holes

The continuing difficulty of achieving a reliable explosion in simulations of core-collapse supernovae, especially for more massive stars, has led to speculation concerning the observable transients that might be produced if such a supernova fails. Even if a prompt outgoing shock fails to form in a collapsing presupernova star, one must still consider the hydrodynamic response of the star to the abrupt loss of mass via neutrinos as the core forms a protoneutron star. Following a suggestion by Nadezhin (1980), we calculate the hydrodynamical responses of typical supernova progenitor stars to the rapid loss of approximately 0.2 to 0.5 M_sun of gravitational mass from their centers. In a red supergiant star, a very weak supernova with total kinetic energy ~ 10^47 erg results. The binding energy of a large fraction of the hydrogen envelope before the explosion is of the same order and, depending upon assumptions regarding the neutrino loss rates, most of it is ejected. Ejection speeds are ~ 100 km/s and luminosities ~ 10^39 erg/s are maintained for about a year. A significant part of the energy comes from the recombination of hydrogen. The color of the explosion is extremely red and the events bear some similarity to “luminous red novae,” but have much lower speeds. See: Very Low Energy Supernovae from Neutrino Mass Loss

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