A supernova called Requiem is the result of an explosion of a star about 10 billion light-years away.I saw it three times at the legendary Space Observatory in 2016, thanks to a phenomenon called Gravitational lens.
Gravitational lenses occur near giant objects that have the ability to bend and split light to magnify and distort the image of the object behind it.In the case of the supernova Requiem, the giant Cluster of galaxies Called MACS J0138.0-2155, it acted as a magnifying glass and revealed a stellar explosion in three different snapshots based on three different paths through which the supernova light passed through the cluster.
The prediction that supernovae will be visible again (though not to the naked eye) is based on computer modeling of the distribution of matter within clusters approximately 4 billion light-years away. Earth..
The final display of this supernova is more than 20 years behind compared to the previous three sightings. This is because the light that carries the last image needs to pass through the central part of the cluster. Dark matter, Said a team of European and American researchers In the statement..
Steve Rodney, an astronomer at the University of South Carolina and lead scientist in a new study predicting the return of Requiem, said, “Because it’s like a train that has to go deep into the valley and get off again. , The last to arrive, “said the statement. “It’s the slowest kind of trip for light.”
The previous three sightings were accidentally discovered in 2019 in Hubble’s archived data three years after the observatory acquired the image.
Gabe Brammer, an astronomer at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, accidentally encountered a supernova while searching for an unknown distant galaxy as part of an ongoing research program called REsolved QUIEscent Magnified Galaxies (REQUIEM).
At first, he found only one small dot in the 2016 image and thought it was a galaxy hidden far behind a huge cluster and visible through a gravitational lens.
“When we looked further into the 2016 data, we found that there were actually three magnified objects, two red and purple,” Brammer, co-author of the new study, said in a statement. increase.
Three small dots with different brightness levels were scattered around the core of the cluster in an arc. Brammer then looked for the object in the new image. But to his surprise, they weren’t there anymore.
“I soon realized that it wasn’t a distant galaxy, it was actually a temporary light source for this system, and it wasn’t visible in the 2019 image as if the light bulb had been repelled.”
A supernova explosion lasts only a few tens of seconds. The bright flash it creates quickly disappears and disappears completely within a year.
Upon closer examination of the image, scientists also found that the bright spots were surrounded by a dusty smear, perhaps a magnified snapshot of the supernova host galaxy.
Rodney, Brammer, and astronomer Johann Richard of the University of Lyon, France, worked together to further analyze this event. Based on three observations, they mapped the distribution of dark matter within the cluster and understood how its gravity bends and distorts light. In addition to the 2037 sightings, they calculated that the supernova might reappear in 2042, but its last event is probably too thin to produce any valuable observations.
Astronomers hope that new observational opportunities will help gather more information about distant clusters and the distribution of mysterious dark matter within them. Dark matter is thought to make up the majority of all matter in the universe and plays an important role in its expansion as it is involved in most of the gravitational force of the universe.
“discover [of supernova Requiem] “This is the third example of a multi-imaged supernova that can actually measure arrival time delays. This is the farthest of the three and the predicted delays are very long.” It states.
Discovering lensed supernovae has been easier in the last two decades, and even easier as more powerful wide-field telescopes come online, such as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope at NASA. increase.
This study was published in Nature Astronomy on September 13th.
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