This supernova, known as Requiem, was the result of a star explosion about 10 billion light-years away.Because of a kind called Gravitational lens.
Gravitational lensing occurs near supermassive celestial bodies that can bend and split light, magnifying and distorting the image of objects behind them.In the case of Supernova Requiem, a huge Galaxy cluster Called MACS J0138.0-2155, as a magnifying glass, it reveals the explosion of stars in three different snapshots based on the three different paths of the supernova’s light through the star cluster.
The prediction that the supernova will be visible again (although not visible to the naked eye) is based on computer modeling of the distribution of matter inside a star cluster, which is about 4 billion light-years away from us. Earth.
Compared with the previous three sightings, the final display of this supernova will be delayed for more than two decades, because the light carrying the last image must pass through the central part of the star cluster, which is also the densest part due to the concentration of the star cluster. Dark matter, A group of European and American researchers said In the statement.
“This is the last one to arrive because it is like a train that has to go deep into the valley and then climb back again,” said Steve Rodney, an astronomer at the University of South Carolina and the chief scientist of the new study predicting the return of Requiem. Said in. “This is the slowest journey of light.”
The first three sightings were accidentally discovered in Hubble’s archived data in 2019, three years after the Hubble Telescope obtained the images.
Astronomer Gabe Brammer of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark stumbled upon this supernova while searching for an unknown distant galaxy. This is part of a continuing research project called REsolved QUIEscent Magnified Galaxies (REQUIEM), which gives the supernova its name.
At first, he found only a small spot in the 2016 image, and thought it was a galaxy hidden behind a huge star cluster, visible through a gravitational lens.
“On further examination of the 2016 data, I noticed that there were actually three magnified objects, two red and one purple,” Brammer, the co-author of the new study, said in a statement.
Three small dots of different brightness levels are scattered around the core of the star cluster in an arc shape. Brammer then looks for objects in newer images. But to his surprise, they are no longer there.
“Immediately, it showed me that it is not a distant galaxy, but a transient source in this system. It has disappeared from view in the 2019 image, like a light bulb being flicked.”
The supernova explosion only lasts tens of seconds. The bright flashes it produces will fade quickly and disappear completely within a year.
By carefully examining the image, scientists can also see that the bright spot is covered in dust, which may be a magnified snapshot of the supernova host galaxy.
Rodney, Brammer, and astronomer Johan Richard of the University of Lyon in France collaborated to further analyze this event. Based on these three observations, they mapped the distribution of dark matter in star clusters to understand how its gravity bends and distorts light. In addition to the sightings in 2037, they also calculated that the supernova may be visible again in 2042, but the final event may be too weak to produce any valuable observations.
Astronomers hope that the new observation opportunities will help them collect more information about the distribution of distant star clusters and the mysterious dark matter in them. Dark matter is believed to constitute most of all matter in the universe. It is responsible for most of the gravity in the universe and therefore plays an important role in its expansion.
“discover [of supernova Requiem] It is the third example of a multi-imaging supernova that we can actually measure the arrival time delay,” Rodney said. “It is the farthest of the three, and the estimated delay time is also unusually long. “
In the past 20 years, the discovery of lenticular supernovae has become easier, and with the introduction of more and more powerful wide-field telescopes, such as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile or Nancy Gray from NASA With the Sromman Space Telescope, this will become easier.
Research Published in the journal on September 13 Natural astronomy.
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