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  • Writer's pictureJared Herrera

Ophiuchus Supercluster explosion

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Despite the vast emptiness of space, recently a group of astronomers in early 2020 found data of another cosmic explosion in our universe. For many years astronomers thought that a hypernova was the biggest cosmic explosion other than the Big Bang. The hypernova, explosion bigger than a supernova, would most likely create a gamma ray burst, and would create an extremely dangerous radiated jet that would span light years. This is nothing compared to the Ophiuchus Supercluster explosion. This explosion explained by Professor Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, an explosion spanning hundreds of millions of years was almost in slow motion. The explosion was caused by a super massive blackhole. Just like a gamma ray burst, this super massive blackhole shot out jets of extremely active partials causing this chain reaction. She speculated that if you were to put 15 milky way galaxies in a row, it would match the crater of this explosion. I wasn't very skilled at math, but if you were to find the area of this crater you would get a little over 175 galaxies to fit in.

Shockingly enough as that is, that is not including the full extent of this disaster since we're only seeing this in 2D.


Although this was a big explosion, consider this. As described by Professor Melanie Johnston, this was an event that spanned millions of years. Meaning it wasn't a singular event. Which brings me to this question, if a hypernova occurs after the silicon burning sequence, same as a supernova, and creates Nickle and iron making the star collapse on itself. Wouldn't that be a bigger explosion than an astronomical jet from a blackhole with extreme amounts of gamma radiation. Better question, how did the star react with this radiation jet to make it explode.

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