Giant star pulls off vanishing act. Did it become a black hole or was it all an illusion?


An unstable massive star has suddenly vanished from view, and astronomers aren’t sure if it collapsed into a black hole or is playing peek-a-boo behind galactic dust.

The star was too far away to spot on its own, but it showed up in the spectrum, or light signature, of the Kinman Dwarf galaxy, which is some 75 million light-years away from Earth. The spectrum showed that the distant galaxy contained a late-stage blue variable star that is 2.5 million times brighter than the sun. Stars of this type are known to be temperamental, with dramatic shifts in their spectra and luminosity (inherent brightness).

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