Astronomers observe a red supergiant star crashing into a supernova “in real time”


23 October 2021 13:47 GMT

According to NASA, thanks to the joint work of several laboratories and research centers, it was possible to gain “unprecedented vision of the first moments of a catastrophic disappearance”.

Thanks to the joint work of several laboratories and the Hubble Telescope, a team of international astronomers was able to document the exact moment that a red supergiant star collapsed due to its own gravity and exploded into a supernova, providing “real-time vision” and “without precedents of the first moments of the catastrophic disappearance of this type of celestial body.” He pointed out In a statement from NASA.

The SN 2020fqv supernova, which was discovered in April 2020 in the Mariposa galaxy about 60 million light-years away in the Virgo galaxy, was spotted simultaneously by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomer Laboratory in San Diego, according to the U.S. Agency. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a NASA satellite, is primarily designed to detect exoplanets.

After the discovery, scientists from several laboratories and research centers pointed their telescopes at the supernova, including Hubble, who were able to examine the closest ejected object in the star’s last year of life, making observations that shed new light on the processes that took place shortly before the death of the red supergiant.

“We rarely explore this very close circular object because it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually do not begin to notice a supernova until at least a few days after the eruption,” the paper was written by Zamborn Dinionon. Investigation General Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society.

For its part, Tess provided researchers with images of the galaxy taken every 30 minutes from the days before the eruption, as well as during and several days after it erupted. The information obtained was supplemented with data collected by the star’s Hubble from the 1990s.

Photo: They discover a spherical crater more than 500 light-years in diameter that emits light from supernovae and the birth of stars.

“We talked about supernovae as criminal scene analysts, and we will try to figure out what happened to that star that appeared after the truth. […] This is a different situation because we know what’s going on and we’ll see death in real time, “commented Ryan Foley, co-editor of the publication.

Considered to be the “supernova’s rosette stone”, Steel, who helped translate the hieroglyphs of Egyptians, experts estimate that data from SN 2020fqv could help identify significant behaviors that could warn of a star’s future death.

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