For the first time, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope and other space peering equipment have witnessed a star dying 60 million light-years away and becoming a “real-time” supernova. This may provide a “warning system” for other stars.
The supernova, known as SN 2020fqv, is located in the interacting butterfly galaxy and Virgo constellations.
Scientists were able to take pictures both before and after the explosion to learn “unprecedented” details of the event.
First discovered in April 2020 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego. California..
Astronomers first witnessed a star dying and becoming a supernova
Ryan Foley, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said, “We were talking about the work of supernovae like crime scene investigators, where they appeared after the fact and on that star. I tried to understand what happened. ” statement..
“This is another situation, because we really know what’s going on and we’re actually seeing death in real time.”
The stars died millions of years ago, but given the depth of the universe, light can only be seen now.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Exploration Satellite (TESS), which is used to study and discover exoplanets, is also observing supernovae, giving astronomers a multifaceted view of the explosion.
“We rarely look at this very close orbital material, because it is only visible for a very short time and usually does not start observing supernovae until at least a few days after the explosion,” said the lead author of the study. Said Samapon Tinyanont.
“This supernova was able to make Hubble’s ultra-fast observations and cover the area immediately next to the exploding star in an unprecedented range.”
The supernova, known as SN 2020fqv, is 60 million light-years away from Earth.
Both the Hubble Space Telescope (pictured) and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Exploration Satellite (TESS) have observed supernovae.
Hubble, a joint venture between NASA and the European Space Agency, was also able to see near-star material known as orbital material “just hours after the explosion,” according to a statement.
This allowed astronomers to understand what was happening just before the star died.
NASA’s TESS took images of the stars every 30 minutes, days before and weeks after the explosion.
Researchers also looked at Hubble data dating back to the 1990s (launched in April 1990) to get the “decade-year look” of the star’s last year.
“Now we have this whole story about what’s happening to the star in the years before it died, at the time of death, and through its aftermath,” Foley added.
“This is the most detailed view of the last moments of such stars and how they explode.”
Known as the “Supernova Rosetta Stone,” the SN2020fqv supernova allows researchers to discover more about the store, including checking the mass of a star (about 14 or 15 times the mass of the Sun) in several ways. will do so. About how the stars live and die.
“This is the first time we have been able to verify the mass of a supernova in these three different ways, and they are all consistent,” added Tinyanont.
“Now we can use these different methods to combine them and move forward, because there are many other supernovae that have mass from one method but no mass from another. is.”
Researchers believe that the behavior of supernovae they witness is a precursor to other supernovae and could effectively create a sort of “warning system,” Foley added.
“So, once the stars start shaking a bit and taking action, you may need to be more careful and really try to understand what’s happening there before it explodes.
“As these supernovae become more and more found in this kind of good dataset, we will have a better understanding of what is happening in the last few years of the star’s life.”
The research on the findings will eventually be published in the monthly report of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The NASAs Hubble Space Telescope is still functioning and has made more than 1.3 million observations since the mission began in 1990.
The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 via Space Shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889.
He is arguably most famous for discovering that the universe is expanding, and its speed is increasing-now producing Hubble’s constant.
The Hubble Telescope is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured).
Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations and contributed to the publication of more than 15,000 scientific papers since the mission began in 1990.
It orbits the earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,300 kph) in low earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.
Hubble’s pointing accuracy is .007 arc seconds. It’s like being able to hit a dime about 200 miles (320 km) away with a laser beam focused on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head.
The Hubble Telescope was named after Edwin Hubble, one of the greatest astronomers of all time, who was responsible for devising the Hubble’s constant.
Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters wide (7 feet, 10.5 inches) and has a total length of 13.3 meters (43.5 feet). This is the length of a large school bus.
Hubble’s launch and deployment in April 1990 marked the most significant advancement in astronomy since the Galilean telescope.
Thanks to five service missions and more than 25 years of operation, our view of the universe and our position within it have never been the same.
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