Scientists are tracking a red giant becoming a supernova for the first time
Despite the large number of stars in the sky, seeing one in the throes of the supernova is still a very rare event. Now, astronomers have captured red superstitions before, during and after a supernova explosion for the first time, gathering vital new information about these extraordinary events.
"This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what big stars do before they die," said lead author Wynn Jacobson-Galán (UC Berkeley). the red superstar in a typical Type II supernova. For the first time, we saw a big red star explode! "
Using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Maui, Hawai'i, scientists discovered the red superstar in the summer of 2022 due to the large amount of light it emitted. Later in the fall when he went to supernova, the team captured the powerful film using the Hawai'i Observatory Keck Observatory's Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS). They also captured the first spectrum of the supernova, known as SN 2022tlf.
The observations showed that the star appeared to have erupted a lot of round material just before the explosion. Previous observations have shown that red giants were relatively calm before they went to supernova, so the new data show that some may have significantly changed their internal structure before exploding. This in turn can lead to turbulent gas emissions minutes before it falls.
SN 2022tlf is located in galaxy NGC 5731 about 120 million light-years from Earth and was about 10 times larger than the sun. Stars go supernova when they run out of fuel and fall with their own gravity, triggering a massive explosion of carbon fusion. For that to happen, they must be large enough (8 to 15 degrees of sunlight) or they will simply fall into a white dwarf star as our Sun will eventually be. Any more than that and they could fall into a black hole.
This discovery allows scientists to study large red stars looking for the same kind of light radiation that another supernova could identify. “Finding more events like SN 2022tlf will have a big impact on how we explain the last months of amazing evolution…
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