A huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago has been discovered by team of British astronomers.
The huge cosmic blast occurred only 3.3 billion years after the Big Bang – when the universe was only a quarter of its current age.
The exploding star, named DES16C2nm, it is classified as a superluminous supernova (SLSN), the brightest and rarest class of supernovae, first discovered ten years ago, thought to be caused by material falling onto the densest object in the Universe — a rapidly rotating neutron star newly formed in the explosion of a massive star.
Where Do Supernovas Take Place?
Supernovas are often seen in other galaxies. But supernovas are difficult to see in our own Milky Way galaxy because dust blocks our view. In 1604, Johannes Kepler discovered the last observed supernova in the Milky Way. NASA’s Chandra telescope discovered the
remains of a more recent supernova. It exploded in the Milky Way more than a hundred years ago.
What Causes a Supernova?
A supernova happens where there is a change in the core, or center, of a star. A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems. Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star. Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime. As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force. The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova. The sun is a single star, but it does not have enough mass to become a supernova.
Why Do Scientists Study Supernovas?
A supernova burns for only a short period of time, but it can tell scientists a lot about the universe.
One kind of supernova has shown scientists that we live in an expanding universe, one that is growing at an ever increasing rate.
Scientists also have determined that supernovas play a key role in distributing elements throughout the universe. When the star explodes, it shoots elements and debris into space. Many of the elements we find here on Earth are made in the core of stars. These elements travel on to form new stars, planets and everything else in the universe.