Hubble Just Watched a Star Explode In a Massive Supernova

Fade Away

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope just spotted a brief and intense event: a detonating star in a distant galaxy.

Thanks to a series of images taken by the telescope, we get to watch the event unfurl over time.

The star, SN 2018gv, is located in the spiral galaxy NGC 2525, some 70 million light-years away. Astronomers first started observing it because they were using the star as a way to measure the expansion rate of the universe.

The time lapse spans about a year and shows the star first appearing as one of the brightest stars in the galaxy’s outer edges, then quickly fading almost completely out of sight.

Going Supernova

The star, a white dwarf, was once accompanied by a second star, forming a close binary system, from which it accreted material over time. It then started to heat up, ballooned in size, and effectively transformed itself into a massive atomic bomb, exploding in a type Ia supernova.

“No Earthly fireworks display can compete with this supernova, captured in its fading glory by the Hubble Space Telescope,” Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) said in a ESA statement.

Astronomers use these events as a way to measure how fast the universe is expanding around us, otherwise known as the Hubble constant. Over time, thanks to close to 30 years of operation, the Hubble telescope has helped researchers hone in on this constant, allowing us to gather tantalizing hints about the origin story of our universe.

READ MORE: Hubble watches exploding star fade into oblivion [ESA]

More on supernovae: Scientists: Earth Moving Through Radioactive Debris of Exploded Stars

Latest articles

Katie Melua Signs With Reservoir

Born in Kutaisi, Georgian SSR, Melua moved to the U.K. at the age of eight -- first to Belfast, and then to London...

Fire ants build little syphons out of sand to feed without drowning

The threat of death is no obstacle for some hungry fire ants. To escape drowning while feeding on sugary water, black imported fire...

The Space Station’s Toilet, Oven, and Air Supply All Broke Last Night

Comes In ThreesThings seem to be falling into disarray on the International Space Station.On Monday night, several important pieces of equipment broke down...

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here