NASA Finds Clues To Universe In Most Distant Supernova Ever
NASA has discovered the oldest, furthest supernova known to exist, using the Hubble Space Telescope, and providing additional clues to understanding the evolution of the universe.
The exploding star, called Supernova UDS10Wil or SN Wilson, is a Type Ia supernova that burst over 10 billion years ago. Type Ia supernovas are used to measure the expansion of the universe and also provide clues into dark energy, the unknown force thought to be behind the universe's expansion.
"This new distance record holder opens a window into the early universe, offering important new insights into how these stars explode," Johns Hopkins University astronomer David Jones said. "We can test theories about how reliable these detonations are for understanding the evolution of the universe and its expansion."
In order to find the supernova, NASA used Hubble to study far away Type Ia supernovae over the course of three years. They used Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 to find the supernovae and determine their distance through spectroscopy.
What exactly causes a supernova remains unknown. One theory involves a white dwarf drawing matter from a nearby red giant. The other consists of the merging of two white dwarfs.
The new supernova SN Wilson points toward the latter theory. The drop-off of Type Ia supernovae from 7.5 to 10 billion years ago presents an idea of how long it takes two white dwarfs to merge.
"This new result is a really exciting step forward in our study of supernovae and the distant universe," team member Jens Hjorth of the Dark Cosmology Centre at the University of Copenhagen said. "We can begin to explore and understand the stars that cause these violent explosions."
"If supernovae were popcorn, the question is how long before they start popping?" Adam Reiss of Space Telescope Science Institute asked. "You may have different theories about what is going on in the kernel. If you see when the first kernels popped and how often they popped, it tells you something important about the process of popping corn."
The results of the discovery will be published in a forthcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
New Type Of Supernova Discovered By Astronomers
Hidden for centuries, the Type 1ax mini-supernova will blow your mind, in a small way.
Kepler's Supernova: New Clues Surface
Astronomers theorize that Kepler's famous supernova formed with the help of a companion star.
NASA Unveils James Webb Telescope At SXSW
NASA says Hubble's successor, the James Webb Telescope, will see as far as the Big Bang.
NASA: Saturn's Rings And Moons Reveal Ancient Secrets
Saturn's rings and moons among the solar system's oldest objects, as revealed by NASA's Cassini spacecraft
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Ideas That Will Help to Reduce RAM Usage on a Mac
Memory is not something that you can add in a Macbook easily. That is why the computer is not the best when it comes to doing certain things, such as gaming. Sure, the newer models are coming with improvements, but there is still a lot of thought that goes into making sure all the random access memory is used optimally.
CEO Peter Beck’s Apology Has Elon Musk and Other Competitors Support After Launch Failure
After the failure of the 13th attempt to reach orbit with Electron, Rocket Labs CEO Peter Beck has given out a public apology on Twitter. This has led to competitors, which include Elon Musk, to offer their support.
How to Be a Good Team Owner in the New 'F1 2020'
With the new Formula 1 racing game developed by Codemasters about to be released to the general public, players are wondering in anticipation of what makes this F1 2020 game different from its predecessors.