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Scientists Capture Incredible Details Of Supernova For First Time Ever

by : Hannah Smith on : 06 Aug 2021 10:15
Scientists Capture Incredible Details Of Supernova For First Time EverNASA

Astronomers have broken new ground after successfully capturing a supernova in its earliest phases.

Using data collected from NASA’s Kepler space telescope in 2017, scientists were able to capture the first light burst from a supernova in ‘unprecedented detail,’ marking a milestone in our understanding of what happens to stars when they die.

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Supernova Captured by NASA (NASA)NASA

The supernova, which occurred through the explosion of a yellow supergiant star more than 100 times larger than our sun, took place more than one billion light years away from Earth, meaning the event actually took place some 700,000 years before humans even existed.

While supernovas can take weeks or months to brighten, the earliest phase of the explosion is only observable for a few days, The Guardian reports.

Supernova (PA Images)PA Images
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‘Normally we can’t get much information about these stars because they have exploded and there’s not much left to look at,’ explained Australian National University PhD student Patrick Armstrong, who authored the study into the supernova. ‘In order to capture this, you have to be looking at the right part of the sky, at the right time, with the right amount of detail, to be able to see everything.’

With the Kepler telescope taking images every half an hour, scientists were able to fully document the supernova in ‘comprehensive’ detail, something that is not possible with other telescopes, which record images only daily.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Technology, Astronomy, Moon, NASA, Now, Science, Space, star, sun

Credits

The Guardian
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