Astronomers discover flattest explosion ever seen in space
Scientists have recently discovered an explosion in space that is unlike any other seen before. The explosion, which occurred over 180 million light-years away, is nearly flat like a disc, whereas most explosions in space are typically spherical. The University of Sheffield has classified this explosion as a Fast Blue Optical Transient (FBOT), an extremely rare and unusual class of explosion. Only five FBOTs have been discovered so far, with the first being nicknamed "the cow" in 2018. Scientists are still unsure how these types of explosions occur, but this new observation could provide some insight into the strange phenomena. According to lead author Justyn Maund, there are a few possible explanations for the disc-like explosion, such as the stars involved creating the disc just before they died, or the possibility of failed supernovas where the core of the star collapses into a black hole, consuming the rest of the star. The discovery was made by chance using the Liverpool Telescope and polaroid glasses to measure the polarisation of the blast. The scientists plan to conduct further surveys of such celestial outliers to discover more FBOTs and gain a better understanding of them.