Timelapse from the Hubble telescope shows the dramatic transformation of a star into a supernova


Despite the presence in the Universe of a huge number of stars, among which supernovae often appear, observing this phenomenon in the optical range is still very rare. Such events take pride of place in the annals of the peoples of the world, and today another entry has been added to them. The Hubble Space Telescope has detailed the process of extinction of supernova SN 2018gv after the explosion.

At a distance of 70 million light years from us is the galaxy NGC 2525, where a bright flash was noticed in January 2018. A month later, the Hubble telescope was turned in that direction with a wide-angle camera and took pictures of the supernova, which received the SN 2018gv index, all year. Astronomers watched with delight and interest how the brightness of the radiation gradually changed, how it faded. The observations lasted until the deceased star was no longer visible.

Although the Hubble Telescope did not have time to record the peak flare of SN 2018gv, scientists managed to calculate its brightness – about 5 billion brighter than the light of our Sun. It is a Type Ia supernova that explodes when a white dwarf in a twin star takes too much mass from a partner and becomes unstable. This critical mass, also known as the Chandrasekhar mass, is within a certain range, which allows scientists to calculate the brightness of the supernova at the time of the explosion.

Knowledge of the calculated brightness and the actually observed phenomenon allows you to calculate various parameters – for example, to clarify the distance to an object. And if we know exactly the location of a space object, this greatly simplifies the study of space around it and opens up new possibilities for astronomers. Therefore, supernovae are so valued by scientists – both for the magnificent cosmic spectacle and for their assistance in scientific research.

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