Shocking Supernova! 850-year old star explosion baffles scientists | Tech News

Shocking Supernova! 850-year old star explosion baffles scientists

A rare firework display from an 850-year-old star explosion has shocked scientists.

| Updated on: Jan 28 2023, 11:42 IST
Supernova discovery! NASA James Webb Space Telescope takes the crown AGAIN with this photo
1/5 The James Webb Space Telescope has only been in operation for a few weeks but it has already made stellar discoveries. Now, it has amazed the world once again by detecting its first Supernova. (NASA)
2/5 A supernova is the extremely bright, super-powerful explosion of a massive dying star and the biggest explosion that humans have ever seen. According to a report by Inverse, “Astronomers spotted something unusual happening in a distant galaxy in recent images from the James Webb Space Telescope — something that wasn't there when Hubble last looked at the same galaxy.” (NASA)
3/5 This is an amazing feat considering the James Webb Space Telescope wasn’t even built for discovering supernovas. The detection of supernovas is usually done by large-scale survey telescopes that skim a vast portion of the space at short intervals. (AP)
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4/5 Mike Engesser, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute told Inverse, "We think that stars in the first few million years would have been primarily, almost entirely, hydrogen and helium, as opposed to the types of stars we have now. They would have been massive — 200 to 300 times the mass of our sun, and they would have definitely lived a sort of 'live fast, die young' lifestyle. Seeing these types of explosions is something we haven't really done yet.” (AFP)
5/5 In a period of five days, the supernova which is called SDSS.J141930.11+5251593 was observed by the James Webb Telescope twice. This discovery may help NASA scientists to understand the universe better and more deeply over a period of time. (NASA)
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The Pa 30 remnant is the aftermath of a supernova which is around 850 years old. (Robert Fesen / Dartmouth College)

A supernova is a super-powerful explosion of a massive dying star. It is extremely bright. A supernova usually spews out dust and gas, but in a strange event, a new one has been found that looks totally different. In fact, it looks like a fireworks display! Astronomer Robert Fesen, from Dartmouth College of New Hampshire, who snapped the remnant last year, found an unusual cosmic firework display around the Supernova and he told Nature, “I have worked on supernova remnants for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this."

The study says that the earlier star had a surface temperature of 200000 kelvin, Nature report mentioned. The Pa 30 remnant is the aftermath of a supernova which happened some 850 years ago.

Robert Fesen along with other authors of the study published in arXiv revealed, "newly recognized young Galactic SN remnant, Pa 30 (G123.1+4.6), centered on a hot central star with a ~16,000 km/s wind velocity has recently been proposed to be the result of a double-degenerate merger leading to a SN Iax event associated with the guest star of 1181 CE."

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What is the reason behind the unusual firecracker appearance of the supernova remnant? The study says it may be due to the “photoionization of wind-driven ejecta due to clump-wind interactions caused by the central star's high-luminosity wind..”

Tech behind Supernova detection

The study of supernovas can reveal some unknown facts about the universe. To identify them, NASA scientists use a number of telescopes. One of these is the NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission, which uses X-ray vision to explore the universe. NuSTAR helps scientists to observe supernovas and young nebulas to learn more about what happens leading up to, during, and after these spectacular blasts.

NASA captured what may have been the brightest explosion ever recorded of a supernova last October when huge amounts of radiation hit Earth. It was captured by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and some others. The explosion was recorded as being 1.9 billion light years away. The explosion has been called GRB 221009A.

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First Published Date: 28 Jan, 11:33 IST