Hubble Spots Violent Star Death – New Idea for Creating a Warning System?

Hubble Spots Violent Star Death – New Idea for Creating a Warning System?

Stars explode very often in the Universe, and luckily for all of us, we’re not in the trajectory of any known supernova. There’s also no evidence that the Earth will ever be obliterated by a supernova, at least not in the near future.

Thanks to the help brought by the good ol’ Hubble telescope, astronomers were able to witness the violent death of a star located 60 million light-years away, according to CNN. Obviously, it would be helpful for humanity to know when a star is about to go “boom!”, and scientists are optimistic that their recent observation of the star can help develop such a warning system.

Long live the SN 2020fqv supernova

SN 2020fqv is the supernova that resulted from the star’s explosion, and it’s located somewhere in the Virgo constellation. Due to the fact that the star that went “ka-boom” was located 60 million light-years away, doing a little math will result in the fact that the supernova itself occurred about the same time when the Chicxulub impactor marked the beginning of the end for the dinosaurs. In other words, astronomers are “travelling in time”, as they see a cosmic event that happened long ago.

Shortly after the explosion, the Hubble telescope was able to identify circumstellar material surrounding the star. This allowed scientists to have an idea of what happened before the supernova itself.

Samaporn Tinyanont, who is a postdoctoral scholar from the University of California, Santa Cruz, declared as quoted by CNN:

We rarely get to examine this very close-in circumstellar material since it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually don’t start observing a supernova until at least a few days after the explosion,

For this supernova, we were able to make ultra-rapid observations with Hubble, giving unprecedented coverage of the region right next to the star that exploded.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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