Astronomers around the world have recently made a stunning discovery—the emergence of a previously unseen stellar corpse, now known as the Tasmanian Devil. This celestial body is located some 500 light-years away from Earth and appears to be the remnant of a ‘hypergiant’ star so large and powerful that it was once rivaled by only a few other stars.
Previously known as HLX-1, the Tasmanian Devil was believed to be a white dwarf or possibly a neutron star since its discovery in 2009. However, its recent appearance as a bright, variable X-ray source, something that had never before been seen by astronomers, suggests that it is something else entirely.
For years, scientists have been able to document mergers between neutron stars, or between a white dwarf and a neutron star. But this new stellar corpse is much larger than any of those objects, yet still much smaller than a hypergiant star. This curious entity, which is now referred to as an intermediate mass object, has left astronomers scratching their heads and pondering just what it could be.
The Tasmanian Devil seems to be a hybrid of a super-massive star and a normal star. Its sheer size and unique attributes have led some astronomers to theorize that it may be the only one of its kind in the universe.
Whatever the case, the emergence of this strange stellar corpse has brought a phenomena astronomers have never seen before. Its unique size and attributes could help to further our understanding of the origins of stars and the evolution of our universe. Now that’s something truly devilishly amazing.