mardi 20 février 2018

Cosmic explosion 10.5 billion years ago

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Feb. 20, 2018

Researchers from Southampton University have spotted the most distant supernova ever discovered. The phenomenon occurred when a massive star ended in a cataclysmic explosion known as the supernova.

A huge 10.5 billion-year-old cosmic explosion: astronomers announce on Tuesday that they have discovered the supernova, an end-of-life star, the most distant ever detected.

Supernova DES16C2nm. Image credits: Mr Smith / DES Collaboration

"DES16C2nm (the name given to this supernova, ed) is extremely distant, extremely brilliant and extremely rare, not the kind of thing that, as an astronomer, one falls on every day," says Mathew Smith, lead author of the study, in a statement from the University of Southampton (UK).

The phenomenon occurred when a massive star coiled in a galaxy far away ended its days in a cataclysmic explosion known as the supernova.

The phenomena that accompany the death of a star are very violent because the material component of the star is ejected at speeds of several thousand kilometers per second. Due to the incredible amount of energy released, the event shines as much as ... 200 million suns and can be seen from Earth.

Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected. Image Credit: NASA

The light emitted by the celestial phenomenon reached our planet 10.5 billion years after it took place and was detected for the first time in August 2016. Its distance and extreme brightness were then confirmed in October 2017 by three separate telescopes.

The international team of astronomers led by the University of Southampton and the origin of the study published Tuesday in the Astrophysical Journal ranked the youngest among the "super bright supernovas (SLSN)", the class of supernovas the brightest and the rarest. "In addition to being a very exciting discovery, the extreme distance of DES16C2nm gives us a unique insight into the nature of super bright supernovas," says Mathew Smith.

"The ultraviolet light emitted by this supernova tells us about the amount of metal produced in the explosion and the temperature of the explosion itself, two essential information to understand the causes, the engines, of these cosmic explosions", adds -t it.

Southampton University:

Super bright supernovas (SLSN):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: AFP/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

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