Science

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a distant star die, explode and disappear in rare, colorful detail

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a distant star die, explode and disappear in rare, colorful detail

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a distant star die, explode and disappear in rare, colorful detail

The Hubble Space Telescope orbits the Earth and studies the universe in exquisite detail.NASA

  • NASA The Hubble Space Telescope imaged a star that exploded and died 11 billion years ago.

  • A massive cluster of galaxies bent the light from it supernova in three reflections.

  • The three prints show the various vivid stages of the supernova explosion.

NASA Hubble Space Telescope watched a distant star die, to explodeand disappear into rare details.

The star died more than 11 billion years ago, when the universe was less than a fifth of its current age of 13.8 billion years, but light from its violent explosion has just reached Earth. This is the first time astronomers have taken a close look at a supernova so early in the universe’s history.

Hubble watched as the star collapsed, ejected its outer layers in a violent explosion, and then cooled. Based on the brightness of the supernova and the speed of its cooling, scientists calculated that this star was 500 times larger than the Sun. researchers paper it was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a distant star die, explode and disappear in rare, colorful detail

Three different reflections of the supernova, observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.NASA, ESA, STScI, Wenlei Chen (UMN), Patrick Kelly (UMN), Hubble Frontier Fields

“You have a massive star, the core collapses, it produces a shock, it heats up, and then you see it cool down over a week. I think that’s probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” Patrick Kelly, study leader and assistant professor at the College for Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, said at NASA Media Release.

It’s a rare sight, especially so early in the universe, since the explosion and cooling of a supernova happens over the course of just a few hours or days.

Multicolored faces of a supernova, warped in space-time

Hubble images of supernovae in different stages

Various Hubble supernova observationsNASA, ESA, STScI, Wenlei Chen (UMN), Patrick Kelly (UMN), Hubble Frontier Fields

Hubble spotted this supernova through gravitational lensing. This happens when a cluster of distant galaxies is so massive that it distorts space-time, bending and magnifying the light of stars far in the distance behind it. This creates mirror images of those stars, which are reflected back to us.

In this case, gravitational lensing created three images of the same supernova at different points in time. That’s because the light from the explosion took three different paths around the massive galaxy cluster. The paths had different lengths, so the light arrived at different times, reflecting images from three different stages in the star’s death.

That’s why the three reflections are different colors – as the temperature of the supernova changed rapidly during the week, so did its color. In its early, extremely hot stages, the star appeared blue. As it cooled, it looked redder.

The Hubble image shows multiple colors of the supernova

Different colors of a cooling supernova at three different stages in its evolution.NASA, ESA, STScI, Wenlei Chen (UMN), Patrick Kelly (UMN), Hubble Frontier Fields

“It’s quite rare that a supernova can be detected at a very early stage, because that stage is really short,” said Wenlei Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota’s School of Physics and Astronomy who studied the supernova. statement.

“It only lasts a few hours to a few days and can be easily missed even for nearby detection. In the same exposure, we can see a series of images – like multiple faces of a supernova,” Chen said.

Read the original article at Business Insider



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