SCP 06F6 Hubble Mystery Explained

When Hubble detected the SCP 06F6 in February of 2006, the astrophysicists were stunned and reaching for explanations but had none.

The event, 200 days long, has shown an object that gradually brightened, and then continuously faded, and the only explanation for the behavior was that we’ve witnessed, for the very first time, a star consumed by a black hole.

However, the event is further complicated by the length of the star going supernova. Whereas regular stars take about 20 days to reach maximum brightness, the SCP 06F6 took more than a hundred days for the same process.

Upon closer examination, the spectrum analysis revealed a possibility of high levels of carbon. While carbon seems the most likely suspect, the analysts suspect that the matter burned up may be more complex as carbon is “not a perfet fit,” according to Kyle Barbary of the University of California, Berkeley, lead author of the 2008 paper on the object’s discovery. “No possibility suggested so far is conclusive,” he says.

Check out Babary’s paper available for download here. []