Here’s a mystery of the universe that’s literally unexplainable. No scientists have yet to figure out why there have been 72 huge explosions in outer space, four billion light years away. They’re currently trying to better understand dark energy and how the explosions came to be. While there are plenty of theories swirling, no concrete findings have yet explained the mysterious explosions.
Astronomers observed the 72 bright and quick events flashing in the sky but had no scientific explanation for their existence. The event seemed similar in brightness to supernovae, the gigantic explosions of dying stars, however, these flashes don’t last as long as supernovae, which can be seen for months. The 72 mysterious explosions only can be seen from between a week to a month. So, what are they exactly?
Astronomers do appear to have some theories about the existence of these flashes, with one idea being that they are a type of supernova that has never been seen before, in which a star sheds material before exploding.
The explosions were spotted using a large camera on a telescope in the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in the Chilean Andes. Studying the images, astronomers found that the explosion are believed to be very hot, with researchers estimating the temperature between 18,000 and 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Miika Pursiainen of the University of Southampton, spoke of the expolosions at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool, and explained to Newsweek that they’re as bright supernovae, last shorter periods of time, and are large in size. He noted: “These events appear to originate in star-forming galaxies, which is why we have been mostly considering core-collapse supernova scenarios. However, it is far too early to say anything for certain.”
The team is also investigating whether or not this is a newly discovered supernova at work, as Pursiainen noted: “The DES-SN survey is there to help us understand dark energy, itself entirely unexplained. That survey then also reveals many more unexplained transients than seen before.” He added: “If nothing else, our work confirms that astrophysics and cosmology are still sciences with a lot of unanswered questions!”
In the absence of a real explanation, you can bet there were plenty of theories on social media, with jokes about “Star Wars” and the destruction of the Death Star noted, among other jokes.
One commenter pondered: “What if it’s just a supernova being blocked periodically by a large dust cloud or something?”
Another commenter shared this wisdom, before quoting Carl Sagan: “Whatever it is, there’s an existential crisis… Imagine our own solar system as that gray, pixelated blip… ‘Some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being — and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.’ – Carl Sagan”
Still another person guessed: “Um…collisions would be my next guess after supernovae? It is not unfathomable that collisions occur naturally in the cosmos creating shorter duration flash points? I mean ‘Occam’s razor’?”