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72 Mysterious Cosmic Flashes Puzzle Astronomers

Started by Unbeliever, May 05, 2018, 10:26:50 am

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QuoteSeventy-two unusual cosmic events have astronomers scratching their heads.

Scientists conducting a survey for supernovas -- the dramatic explosions that end the lives of massive stars -- noticed 72 powerful flashes of light. The mysterious emissions were similar in brightness to supernovas, but they evolved much more rapidly, so their exact nature is unclear.

The 72 light sources appeared in the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program (DES-SN), which uses a large camera on a 13-foot (4 meters) telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in the Chilean Andes. The DES-SN is designed to help probe the nature of dark energy by measuring the expansion of the universe. While surveying the sky, it captures images of changing, or transient, events, including supernova candidates, which scientists follow up on.

"Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason."
Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, in The Seattle Daily Ti