According to Astronomers, the most plausible explanation for 2018’s mysterious star outburst is a massive star that explodes and gives birth to a dark hole.  

Telescopes all over the world saw the bright blue flash as it came from the spiral arms of a Galaxy, some 200 million lightyears distant from Earth.

It was brighter and faster than any previous recorded stellar eruption and was noted as ‘AT2018cow’. However, it’s now known simply as ‘The Cow.

A team from the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) have since detected hundreds of millions of consistent X-ray pulses within the signal, which they say is ‘strong evidence’ in favour of it being from the explosion of a star into a black hole. 

The researchers found that the black hole was compact and less than 800 times as large as the sun. It is also smaller than 600 miles wide.

The possibility exists that ‘transient’ events such as bright outbursts can be used to uncover ‘baby dark holes’ and ‘baby neutron star’ futures. 

A giant star exploding and giving birth to a black hole, is the most likely explanation for a mysterious stellar outburst first detected in 2018, according to astronomers

According to Astronomers, the most probable explanation for the mystery stellar explosion first discovered in 2018 is a massive star that explodes and gives birth to a dark hole. 

Fast blue optical transits (FBOTs), are brief bursts in space-based energy. 

The most brilliantly blue optical transients, or FBOTs, are extragalactic blasts. They may represent an entirely new phenomenon.

They can reach peak brightness in less than a week and then slowly decline over months. 

They are therefore difficult to explain in the context supernova’s core collapse of massive star stars.

AT2018cow, a FBOT with high levels of luminosity and rapid evolution is an extreme case.

A study on X-ray pulses that were linked to The Cow’ shows it was either a neutron star, compact black hole, or star which ate the star inside.

The MIT astronomers noticed a’strobe like pulse’ of high-energy X-rays. Hidden within the pulse was hundreds of millions smaller pulses that occurred ‘like clockwork.’ Every 4.4 milliseconds for 60 days.  

This data was used to find the most likely source for the phenomenon. It is an object with approximately 600-miles in width and a mass equal to 800 suns. 

A neutron Star has a narrow radius and a high density. This neutron star was formed by the gravitational collapsing of large stars in supernova explosions that aren’t large enough to cause them to fall into black holes. 

The latest findings indicate that The Cow is the result of a dying star. It collapsed into a neutron star or black hole, then continued to eat surrounding material. The star was inside, and it released ‘enormous amounts of energy’.  

Dheeraj ’DJ’ Pasham, a leading author and MIT researcher, stated that he has likely detected the birth in a supernova of a compact object.

This happens in normal supernovae. However, we’ve never seen it before as it is such a chaotic process. 

We believe that this evidence could lead to the discovery of baby neutron stars and baby black holes. 

This phenomenon’s name, “cow”, is not a specific word. It’s merely a coincidence in the astronomical process.

“AAAA” refers, for example to an astronomical transient that was discovered in 2018. This is the year when multiple astronomers spotted ‘quickbursts. 

The Cow however was one such signal that was observed in real-time. A survey was conducted in Hawaii to detect the powerful flash. Follow ups were done around the world.

Pasham said, “It was thrilling because lots of data began piling up.”   

“The energy received was orders of magnitude higher than that from a typical supernova core collapse.” The question then was: What could be done to produce additional energy?

The outburst was picked up by telescopes around the world as a brilliant blue flash from the spiral arm of a galaxy, 200 million light years away from Earth

Telescopes from around the globe picked up the outburst as a bright blue flash coming from the spiral arm a galaxies, which is 200 million light-years from Earth.

The result of a dead, collapsed star is the formation of neutron stars 

Neutron stars are the collapsed, burnt-out cores of dead stars.

Large stars will die when their cores collapse. This causes the star’s outer layers to fall away.

A neutron star, an object that is extremely dense and consists of more than just the sun’s mass, becomes a city.

While a neutron star is typically half-a-million times larger than the Earth, it’s only approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide.

Mount Everest would take as many as a handful of materials from this star.

They can reach temperatures of up to a million degrees and are highly radioactive.

According to Professor Patrick Sutton of Cardiff University, the gravitational Physics department, these are undoubtedly the most hostile places in the Universe.

Understanding the heavy elements of the universe is possible only by studying dense objects and their cores.


Based on the 2018 optical data, the original theories of its origins included the possibility that it was a black hole meant to strip material from passing stars.

Pasham used X-ray data to resolve data that was buried in the pulse.

Pasham stated that the signal appeared to be close but also very bright in Xrays. This is what caught my attention. 

“It seems to me that some very energetic phenomenon is generating X-rays. Therefore, I decided to try the theory that the Cow’s cow is composed of either a blackhole or an object compacted at its core.

It was studied in X-Ray by NASA’s Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray-monitoring telescope aboard the International Space Station.

NICER began observing Cows about 5 days after it was first detected by optical telescopes. They continued to monitor the signal for the following 60 days. 

Parsham and colleagues looked through the data from NICER to identify X-ray signals emanating near The Cow, and confirmed that the emissions were not from other sources such as instrument noise or cosmic background phenomena. 

They examined the Xrays, and discovered that the Cow seemed to emit bursts of energy at a frequency 225 hertz. This is approximately once per 4.4 millisecond.

He recognised the frequency of the pulse and said it could be used to calculate the size of what was causing it, as it couldn’t be larger than the distance that the speed of light can cover in 4.4 milliseconds. 

‘The only thing that can be that small is a compact object — either a neutron star or black hole,’ Pasham says.

The Cow emits only 800 solar mass of energy, which was further estimated by the team.

A team from the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) have since detected hundreds of millions of consistent X-ray pulses within the signal, which they say is 'strong evidence in favour of it being from the explosion of a star into a black hole

Since then, a team at the Massachusets Institute of Technology have detected consistent X-ray signals in this signal. This is’strong evidence in favor of it being from a star explosion into a blackhole. 

Pasham said, “This eliminates the notion that the signal came from an intermediate blackhole.”

Pasham claims that the study not only pinpoints the source of this signal but also shows how X-ray analysis of FBOTs or other bright phenomena can be used as a tool to examine infant black holes.

Pasham says, “Whenever there’s an entirely new phenomenon, there is excitement that it may tell us something different about the universe.” 

“For FBOTs,” we showed that we could study the pulsations of their vibrations in depth in an optical. It is therefore a novel way to study these new compact objects.

Nature Astronomy published the findings. 


Because black holes are so dense, their gravitational pull so strong that they can’t escape radiation from light or any other form of radiation.

Their gravity acts as an intense source of gravitation and lifts up the gas and dust surrounding them. They are thought to have an intense gravitational pull that is responsible for the stars of galaxies being orbited around them.

They are still not fully understood. Scientists believe that they form from a cloud of gas, 100,000 times greater than the sun.

These black hole seeds can then combine to create larger, supermassive blackholes. They are located at the center of all known massive galaxies.

Another possibility is that a supermassive dark hole seed might come from a massive star about 100 times larger than the sun. After running out of fuel, it eventually forms into a hole and then collapses.

Supernovae are also a big explosion which expels the material from outer layers of these massive stars into deep space.