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Strange supernova observational hints on a new kind of starburst



  Supernova

The upper left panel shows a composite color image of the galaxy containing SN 2018oh. This image was taken with the Pan-STARRS1 telescope. The upper middle field is the same galaxy without the supernova emission. The upper right panel shows a similar image taken with the NASA Kepler Space Telescope. The lower sections show corresponding images of the ASAS SN survey and the supernova kepler.

A Strange Supernova

Astronomers investigating a violent starburst have experienced a unique supernova phenomenon that resembles nothing they have seen before.

Researchers discovered the supernova, known as ASASSN-1

8bt (or SN 2018oh), last February. Strangely enough, the researchers saw an unusual burst of light in the early stages of the stellar explosion. A new analysis of this unique supernova could help researchers gain insight into the still unclear process of how stars die and explode. SN 2018oh is a type 1A supernova believed to consist of a white dwarf, the nucleus of a star, after all of its fuel has been used up. Type Ia supernovae occur when material is added to the White Dwarf by a nearby star, but just how this mechanism works is still a mystery to astronomers.

These supernova types are important because they produce many of the common elements in the cosmos, and also because astronomers use them to measure cosmic distances.

SN 2018oh was discovered using a variety of telescopes collected at Ohio State University, where astronomers scan the sky for cosmic explosions as part of the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS). NASA's Kepler Space Telescope simultaneously observed the supernova to collect supporting data.

Studying an Explosion

Supernovae usually emit light in a gradually increasing amount, so the appearance of a sudden burst of light was extremely unexpected.

This emission could be extremely unexpected. Investigations have already been caused by the collision between the exploding white dwarf and its companion star.

However, the sequelae of SN 2018oh do not fit the predictions of what this should look like, as Carnegie astronomer Tom Holoien a member of the team that has discovered the supernova and is now studying, said it in a companion statement. "Other options, such as an unusual distribution of radioactive material in the exploded star, are a better explanation for what we have seen. Further observations from ASASSN-18bt and earlier discoveries like these will hopefully help us distinguish between different models and better understand the origins of these explosions, "added Holoien.

This emission could possibly have been caused by radioactive material However, as Holoien explained, further observations and analysis are needed before a formal conclusion can be drawn on this supernova.

These results support the recent work of the Carnegie Supernova project, which focuses on two different Some people show this type of early emission and others do not.

"Nature is always finding new ways to surprise us, and unique observations like these are great for motivating creative approaches, how we feel about this explosion "Carnegie's Anthony Piro, who analyzed the weird emission, said in the statement.

These findings are published in three articles in The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters can be found here, here and here.)


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