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Birth of a black hole or neutron star captured for the first time

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A Northwestern University-led international team of astronomers is getting closer to understanding the mysterious bright object that burst in the northern sky this summer, dubbed AT2018cow or ‘The Cow.’ With the help of W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy’s ATLAS twin telescopes, the multi-institutional team now has evidence that they likely captured the exact moment a star collapsed to form a compact object, such as a black hole or neutron star.

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