WOW! NASA Hubble Space Telescope captures 11-bn-year old supernova explosion

    In an amazing achievement, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a massive supernova explosion, which may be among the first ever in Universe.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 12 2022, 19:56 IST
    Terror in the sky! Black Hole found CLOSE to Earth; it is 10 times BIGGER than Sun
    Black hole
    1/5 The black hole that is closest to planet Earth has been found by astronomers utilising the International Gemini Observatory, run by the NOIRLab of the NSF. And it is terrifying! It is not only massive, but it is also close to Earth! "It has been confirmed that a dormant stellar-mass black hole exists in the Milky Way for the first time. With only 1600 light-years between it and Earth, it is a fascinating subject for research to improve our knowledge of the development of binary systems," a report by ANI said. (AFP)
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    2/5 The closest black hole to Earth has been named Gaia BH1 by astronomers. It is three times closer to Earth than the previous record-holder, an X-ray pair in the constellation of the Monoceros. This dormant black hole is around 10 times as big as the Sun and is situated about 1600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)
    Black hole
    3/5 The most extreme things in the universe are black holes. All huge galaxies presumably have supermassive versions of these unfathomably dense objects at their centres. There are an estimated 100 million stellar-mass black holes in the Milky Way alone, which are significantly more prevalent and weigh five to one hundred times as much as the Sun. (NASA)
    black hole
    4/5 What is a Black Hole? According to NASA, a black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos. Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out. (NASA)
    Black Hole
    5/5 Formation of Black Hole: A stellar-mass black hole formation happens when a star with more than 20 solar masses (1 solar mass is the mass of our sun) exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core and collapses under its own weight. The collapse triggers a supernova explosion that blows off the star’s outer layers. But if the crushed core contains more than about three times the Sun’s mass, no known force can stop its collapse into itself and the birth of a black hole. The origin of supermassive black holes is poorly understood, but we know they exist from the very earliest days of a galaxy’s lifetime. Once born, black holes can grow by accreting matter that falls into them, including gas stripped from neighboring stars and even other black holes. (NASA)
    Hubble Telescope
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    NASA Hubble Space Telescope shared a glimpse of a star explosion from 11 billion years ago in the deep universe. (hubblesite.org)

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope did something extraordinary! It captured light from a star that exploded over 11 billion years ago not just as one postcard from the remote past but as three phases from the star's explosion to fading away over a period of one week. However, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured the three different moments in a far-off supernova explosion in a single snapshot. This explosion dates back to the time when the universe was even less than a fifth of its current age, which is 13.8 billion years.

    "It is quite rare that a supernova can be detected at a very early stage, because that stage is really short. It only lasts for hours to a few days, and it can be easily missed even for a nearby detection. In the same exposure, we are able to see a sequence of the images—like multiple faces of a supernova,” Wenlei Chen, the first author of the research explained.

    How Hubble Space Telescope captures blast from the past

    You must be wondering how it was possible to capture the supernova explosion light from 11 billion years ago. NASA shed light on this mystery! The space agency says that it was possible via a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. It was first predicted in Einstein's theory of general relativity. However, in this case, the gravity of the galaxy cluster Abell 370 worked as a cosmic lens, which helped to bend and magnify the light from the distant supernova located behind the cluster.

    In other terms, this process produced multiple images of the explosion over a different period of time but all of them arrive at Earth at the same time and were captured by the Hubble telescope in one image.

    Amazingly, the red supergiant whose supernova explosion has been observed via Hubble was about 500 times larger than the Sun.

    Why this supernova explosion image is crucial

    This image by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is the first detailed glimpse at a supernova from the history of the early universe. Not just that, this research will help scientists learn more about how the stars and galaxies formed in the early universe. NASA says that these supernova explosion images are also crucial because they show the early stages of a stellar explosion.

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    First Published Date: 12 Nov, 19:56 IST
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