Lajme nga Bota

For the first time astronomers observe the death of a giant star

For the first time astronomers observe the death of a giant star

Astronomers have observed for the first time in recent days and the death of a red supergiant star, before the final crash and massive explosion in a supernova.

Supernovae are usually only discovered after they occur, although some of a different type are caught exploding. In this case, scientists discovered the star in its final stages about 130 days before it exploded and saw it gradually become brighter and explode.

"It's like looking at a time bomb," said astrophysicist Raffaella Margutti, the lead author of a supernova study. "We have never seen such activity in a dying red supergiant star, which produced such a high emission and then collapsed and burned, so far."

The star was discovered in the summer of 2020 during a survey by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS telescope at the top of Haleakal? volcano in Maui.

Although the star was in a galaxy about 120 million light-years away, data from Pan-STARRS showed that the star had become much brighter than usual, he said.

Scientists then observed him and saw that he was extracting high amounts of gas with great force.

Observations after the explosion suggest that the star was about 10 times larger than our sun, among the last ones so large that they become supernovae.

Stars the size of the sun are too small to become supernovae. They expand and then shrink to a white ball at the end of life.

Smaller stars also last several billion years because they are not large enough to burn all of their melting fuel in a short time.