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What causes certain stars to perish without undergoing a supernova explosion?

Astronomers conducting research on stars have unveiled insights into why some stars simply vanish from the night sky without undergoing the expected explosion or emitting the intense brightness characteristic of a supernova event.

Published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the findings challenge the previous assumption that all stars experience a supernova event. According to Newsweek, the research suggests that certain massive stellar bodies collapse inward and transition into black holes.

Alejandro Vigna-Gómez, a co-author of the study, explained, “We propose that the core of a star can collapse under its own gravitational force, similar to what occurs in the final stages of life for massive stars.”

“Instead of undergoing the expected contraction resulting in a luminous supernova explosion, which typically occurs for stars more than eight times as massive as the Sun, the collapse continues until the star transforms into a black hole.”

“Imagine observing a visible star in the sky as it undergoes complete collapse. At just the right moment, it might appear as though the star suddenly vanishes and fades from the heavens,” the co-author remarked.

“The collapse is so thorough that no explosion ensues, nothing is emitted, and there is no spectacular supernova visible in the night sky. Indeed, astronomers have observed instances where brightly shining stars have abruptly disappeared,” Vigna-Gómez added.

“While we cannot definitively establish a causal link, the insights gleaned from our analysis of VFTS 243 bring us closer to a plausible explanation,” Vigna-Gómez asserted.

“Observations reveal that the orbit of VFTS 243 is nearly circular, and our analysis indicates a lack of significant asymmetry during collapse. This further suggests the absence of an explosion,” Vigna-Gomez elaborated.

Hence, it appears that the black hole in VFTS 243 came into existence without the accompanying phenomenon of a supernova explosion.

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