‘Cow’ supernova is brightest ever seen in X-ray observations

Astronomers have spotted the brightest “Cow” supernova ever seen in X-rays, providing shining new evidence that the recently discovered phenomenon might be driven by an emerging black hole or a neutron star. 

Cow supernovae are a newly-labeled subclass of the explosive events, which occur when giant stars reach the end of their lives; they run out of fuel and collapse, triggering powerful explosions. Depending on the original star’s size, the explosion can give birth to either a black hole or a neutron star. These are among the brightest events that can be observed in the universe, and Cow class events are especially brilliant, even brighter than a regular supernova.