Astronomers have observed a giant supernova explosion

The gigantic and brightest of the stars so far detected, so-called. The supernova, detected an international team of astronomers – reported in his latest issue of the journal “Science”.

The explosion was so powerful that it would easily overwhelm the entire Milky Way galaxy in which the Solar System is located. A gigantic explosion occurred – according to preliminary estimates – in a galaxy 3.8 billion light years from Earth.

This extraordinary phenomenon was observed in the ASASSN (All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae) program last year with a network of telescopes all over the Earth. According to “Science” this was “the most powerful supernova explosion ever observed throughout human history.”

The explosions of supernovae, massive and extremely massive stars torn by internal forces, which appear to be stronger than gravity trying to prevent them, are rarely observed.

The supernova explosion is usually 20 times brighter than the light emitted by the average spiral galaxy, which includes the Milky Way. Sometimes the explosion is 50 times brighter, which is 570 billion times brighter than our sun.

The last explosion that was named ASASSN-15lh was twice as strong as the previous record.

One of the astronomers participating in the project, Sobo Dong from Peking University, said he was so fascinated by the phenomenon that he “could not sleep all night”.

Another scientist, Benjamin Shappee of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena (California), described the outbreak as “surreal”. “This kind of discovery is the reason I’m an astronomer. Nature is very smart and sometimes has more imagination than we do, “he wrote in an e-mail.

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Scientists agree that the explosion was so powerful and emitted so much energy that he questioned all of the current theories about supernovae. Nothing is known in particular about the mechanism of the phenomenon or the source of such an unimaginable amount of energy.

Scientists suspect that there may be similarly powerful stars in the universe that might explode at any moment. More detailed observations are planned, using the orbital Hubble telescope. According to Donga, the ASASSN-15lh explosion “can revise our approach to supernova phenomena.”


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