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A massive explosion spotted 200 million light years from Earth has baffled astronomers.
The strange spot, nicknamed 'the cow', is up to 100 times brighter than a supernova and is growing at an incredible rate.
Scientists - Flash - Cloud - Particles - Outwards
Scientists say the flash is a 9,000°C (16,000°F) cloud of high-energy particles bursting outwards at 12,000 miles (20,000km) per second, but are still unsure what triggered the brilliant blast.
One researcher said 'there hasn't really been another object like this.'
Explosion - ATLAS - Telescopes - Keck - Observatory
The explosion was captured on by the asteroid-tracking ATLAS telescopes at the Keck Observatory, which sits atop Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii.
Astronomers noted the flash was unusually luminous - between 10 and 100 times brighter than the average supernova - but it was the speed of its appearance that really caught the eye of space experts.
Explosions - Weeks - Brightness - Flash - Size
Most celestial explosions take weeks to reach peak brightness, but the distant flash had grown to a dramatic size in just two days.
'It really just appeared out of nowhere,' Dr Kate Maguire, an astronomer at Queen's University Belfast who is part of the ATLAS team, told New Scientist.
Objects - Fastness - Brightness
'There are other objects that have been discovered that are as fast, but the fastness and the brightness, that's quite unusual.
'There hasn't really been another object like this.'
Observation - Scientists - Flash - Astronomer - Telegram
Following the initial observation, scientists reported the flash to the star-gazing website Astronomer's Telegram,...
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