Rare superluminous supernova shining with borrowed energy source spotted

Source: PIB

 What is the News?

Indian researchers have spotted a rare superluminous supernova that shines with the energy borrowed from an exotic type of neutron star with an ultra-powerful magnetic field.

What are Superluminous Supernova?
  • A super-luminous supernova is a type of stellar explosion with a luminosity 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae.
    • A supernova is the explosion of a star. It is the largest explosion that takes place in space.
  • Superluminous supernova is generally rare because they originate from very massive stars (minimum mass limit is more than 25 times that of the Sun) and the number distribution of such massive stars in our galaxy or in nearby galaxies is small.

How did Indian Scientists observe the Superluminous Supernova?

  • Indian Scientists used Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT-3.6m) along with two other Indian telescopes: Sampurnanand Telescope-1.04m and Himalayan Chandra Telescope-2.0m to observe Superluminous Supernova.
  • They discovered that the outer layers of the Supernovae had been peeled off and the core was shining with a borrowed energy source.

Significance of this discovery:

  • The study of such Super luminous Supernovae can help probe the mysteries of the early universe.
About 104cm Sampurnanand Telescope:
  • The 104-cm Sampurnanand Telescope is located at ARIES in Nainital, Uttarakhand.
  • It is one of the main observing facilities in the optical domain. It was installed in 1972 by Carl Zeiss, Germany.
  • Different scientific programs such as the study of star clusters, young star-forming regions, supernovae, and X-ray sources were carried out with this observing facility.

About 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope(HCT):

  • The 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope(HCT) is located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory(IAO) in Ladakh.
  • The telescope is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore.
  • Purpose: The telescope is being used for scanning the night sky in search of stellar explosions, comets, asteroids, and exoplanets.


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