Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Before now, researchers have never been able to watch a supernova (a massive explosion of a dying star) as it plays out. Although, as the chaotic aftermath is widely available in the universe to observe, scientists could take a pretty good guess at what actually occurs during the deadly process.

In an exciting first, a research group from the University of California Berkeley was finally able to test hypotheses against the real thing. “This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what massive stars do moments before they die,” stated lead author Wynn Jacobson-Galán. “For the first time, we watched a red supergiant star explode!”

The Keck Observatory, in Hawaii, was used to record the massive star as it “went supernova”. This star is around 10 times the mass of the Sun and is located in the NGC 5731 galaxy, around 120 million light-years from Earth.

Why is this information useful?

The observations, posted in ​​The Astrophysical Journal, gave scientists new information about the neighborhood and behavior of the red giant in its final moments. Knowing this information has allowed theories to be updated, especially in the last four months before the explosion regarding light in their area.

Although this new finding is exciting, there is much more information to uncover. “I am most excited by all of the new ‘unknowns’ that have been unlocked by this discovery,” Jacobson-Galán said. “Detecting more events like this will dramatically impact how we define the final months of stellar evolution, uniting observers and theorists in the quest to solve the mystery on how massive stars spend the final moments of their lives.”

Source study: The Astrophysical Journal Final Moments. I. Precursor Emission, Envelope Inflation, and Enhanced Mass Loss Preceding the Luminous Type II Supernova 2020tlf

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Avatar’s motion AI tech helps researchers detect rare diseases

Researchers are using motion capture artificial intelligence technology that brings characters to life in films like Avatar to track the onset of diseases that ...

Read More

The top 9 mistakes people make when trying to establish a healthy routine

If you can’t figure out why you struggle to maintain a healthy routine, no worries. We have a story from Groom+Style that lists the ...

Read More

World’s largest wealth fund drops fossil fuel investments

The world’s biggest wealth fund was built on Norway’s oil and gas production revenue. Now, the fund is shifting course and taking a stand ...

Read More

Listen to this fascinating piece of ambient music composed by stars

Though we can’t hear them, stars propagate some incredibly soothing soundscapes through the vacuum of space. And for the first time, music composed from ...

Read More