Episode 674: A Massive Star Just Disappeared. No Supernova, Just Straight to Black Hole

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When the largest stars die, it’s usually pretty obvious. Supernovae are visible from billions of light-years away. But recently astronomers watched a massive star just disappear. No explosion, nothing, it just… vanished?

Of course, it could have been dust. It’s always dust. But one intriguing possibility is that the star just imploded directly into a black hole, without the supernova detonation. And if that’s the case, is this happening more often, we just didn’t notice it?

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References:
https://www.eso.org/public/archives/releases/sciencepapers/eso2010/eso2010a.pdf
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/05/the-suns-energy-doesnt-come-from-fusing-hydrogen-into-helium-mostly/#456b5d0670f9
https://www.eso.org/public/usa/news/eso2010/
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/collapsing-star-gives-birth-to-a-black-hole
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/12/26/direct-collapse-black-holes-may-explain-our-universes-mysterious-quasars/#1575aa7b71f0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEZu3pXAFWY

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