March 22, 2023


Complete Canadian News World

Aleksander Kowal

Supernova lit up the sky. Astronomers observed the explosion at an unimaginable speed

The Hubble Space Telescope, and in fact the data it provided, played an important role in the research. It was here that members of a team led by Wenlei Chen of the University of Minnesota identified images showing the very early stage of a star’s explosion.

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We expected to find more missed transits in previous searches, but were surprised to find so many supernova images. The footage of a rapidly developing supernova was completely unexpected.Chen admits

The galaxy cluster Abell 370 observed this rapidly changing supernova. And at a distance of almost 5 million light-years between the Earth and the cluster, scientists clearly could not observe these living events – the light took many years to reach our planet. In analyzing archival data collected by Hubble, astronomers found three images of a supernova exposed to gravitational lensing. It is related to the gravity of massive objects, such as galaxy clusters, that lie between the object being observed and the observer. Thanks to this attraction, the image can be enlarged, which facilitates the search.

The supernova was observed thanks to the phenomenon of gravitational lensing

These three images show the first stages of the supernova in different stages. The first shows the situation just six hours after the star exploded. Using the so-called redshift researchers estimated that while the mass responsible for the supernova amplification was about 5 million light-years from Earth, the explosion itself was very far away. As a result, its age can reach 11.5 billion years.

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From the post in temper nature We also learn that such discoveries provide information about star formation and the evolution of galaxies in the early universe. Using the James Webb Space Telescope, Chen and his colleagues now want to search for older and farther outbursts. This would be possible due to the higher angular resolution and wider wavelength coverage in the near-infrared and infrared ranges provided by Webb.