In the vastness of the infinite universe of which onlyno. Galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, star systems, planets - billions of various celestial bodies live their lives in space. There are more than 10 types of stars in the observed Universe. Among them there are red and white dwarfs, pulsars, brown dwarfs, neutron stars and supernovae. Speaking of supernovae. It is thanks to the explosions of these special stars that life exists on our planet. And even we are with you. Recently, scientists discovered the explosion of the largest supernova in the entire history of observations. Moreover, the SN2016iet supernova completely contradicts scientists' understanding of how supernovae should behave.
What is a supernova?
Among different types of stars, supernovae are stronglystand out. First of all, by the fact that they are very massive, and their brightness sometimes exceeds the brightness of entire galaxies. As you know, each star has its own life cycle. When a supernova's life comes to an end, it explodes. Moreover, a flash from an explosion of this type of star can be so bright and strong that it exceeds the explosions of other stars in its power. Scientists explain this by the processes that occur in supernovae at the last stage of their evolution.
After a supernova explosion, it enters spacea huge amount of energy and chemical elements necessary for our life. In other words, the stars died for us. In addition, explosions of stars are one of the most amazing and powerful phenomena observed in the universe.
In November 2016, the satellite Gaia Europeanthe space agency discovered something intriguing. Astronomers have used observational data over the past three years in an attempt to understand what they saw. Supernova Sn2016 has challenged their expectations. Astronomers published their research in The Astrophysical Journal.
According to scientists, they observed the remains ofa massive star destroyed by an explosion. The supernova SN2016iet is unusual. This supernova has a lot of energy, duration, unexpected chemical signatures and is located in a non-metal-rich environment. This is not like any of what astronomers have observed before.
The researchers initially decided that in the datamistakes are made. However, according to the lead author of the study, Sebastian Gomez, a graduate student at Harvard University, after some time, scientists have determined that SN2016iet is an incredible mystery located in a previously unregistered galaxy a billion light-years from Earth. Numerous telescopes were used to observe the supernova, including telescopes from around the world.
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Astronomers say that in this supernova everythingit looks different - the way it changes brightness over time, its spectrum, the galaxy in which it is located, and even the very location of the supernova in the galaxy is also unusual. Edo Berger, a professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a co-author of the study, says that sometimes astronomers see supernovae that are unusual in one aspect but otherwise not different from ordinary supernovae. However, the SN2016iet star is unique in every way.
Before the explosion, the mass of SN2016iet was 200 times greatermasses of our sun. Astronomers believe that it formed by itself at 54,000 light-years from the center of the dwarf galaxy. Which in itself is strange and unusual. In terms of star longevity, this one was short. The supernova lasted only a few million years, losing 85% of its mass during this time. Then, when the star exploded, its wreckage collided with the material that the star threw away over time, creating the strange kind of supernova that astronomers are observing today.
What are paired supernovae?
Scientists believe they got the firstproof of the existence of a pair-unstable supernova. For decades, astronomers have suggested the existence of such stars, but to this day no evidence has been found. Paired-unstable supernovae are a rare type of incredibly bright stars. After the explosion, such stars scatter iron into the surrounding space in an amount of up to 10 solar masses. In addition, scientists believe that SN2016iet is the way that the most massive stars in the universe die.
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Today, astronomers continue to observe thisan unusual star to learn more about how it formed and how it may change in the future. Most supernovae disappear and become invisible against the radiance of the host galaxies for several months. But since SN2016iet is very bright and isolated, scientists can study it for many years.