Cosmic Spectacle: Unveiling a Galaxy Hosting One of the Most Powerful Supernovae Ever Witnessed in the Vastness of Space

The dwarf galaxy UGC 5189A, site of the supernova SN 2010jl (annotated) | ESO

In 2010, an exceptionally luminous supernova exploded in a small galaxy about 150 million light-years away called UGC 5189A. The Hubble Space Telescope has kept its eye on this galaxy because of the extraordinary supernova, which for three years released more than 2.5 billion times the energy of our Sun in visible light alone.

Though the supernova, named SN 2010jl, died down years ago, astronomers are still watching its aftermath.

This Galaxy Hosted One of the Most Powerful Supernovae Ever Seen - Universe Today

While a supernova explosion is a cataclysmic event that’s more luminous than the galaxy that hosts it, what happens after it explodes is just as compelling. An explosion that powerful changes its surroundings, and astronomers examine the aftermath to understand more about how it happened.

“The bright Type IIn SN 2010jl is an interesting laboratory for the study of dust formation, evolution, and destruction.”

– “Disentangling Dust Components in SN 2010jl: The First 1400 Days” – APJ

supernova Archives - Universe Today

When a supernova explodes, it leaves behind a remnant, either a neutron star or a stellar-mass black hole. Both of those objects rank high on the fascination scale. A black hole is a mind-bending singularity from which not even light can escape. A neutron star is a weird sphere made almost entirely of neutrons. Scientists aren’t exactly certain, but the extreme gravitational pressure in a neutron star might squeeze the protons and electrons so much that they turn into neutrons.

But aside from the stellar object they leave behind, supernovae have other effects on their surroundings. They create dust and gas, disperse heavy elements into their surroundings, and their shockwaves can even trigger the birth of more stars.

SN 2010jl was a type IIn supernova. But since its discovery, astronomers have been studying it closely, and they observed a mid-infrared brightening that lasted longer than 1,000 days. This puts SN 2010jl in a class of its own, and now it’s the namesake for a new sub-type of type IIn supernovae.

SN 2010jl interacts strongly with its dense circumstellar medium. A 2020 paper said that as shocks travel outward from the supernova, they hit the dense medium and bounce back into the SN’s ejecta. The region between the two shocks cools rapidly, forming dust. But most of the dust is then destroyed, and only about 20% of it survives. This is a complicated set of interactions that astronomers want to know more about. “The bright Type IIn SN 2010jl is an interesting laboratory for the study of dust formation, evolution, and destruction,” the authors of the 2020 paper said.

The destruction of the dust is related to SN 2010jl’s unusual near-infrared brightening. Astronomers think that the IR brightness came from the portion of the dust that was destroyed. As shock waves from the supernova burst through the stellar surface, it generated an intense burst of energy. That energy evaporated the dust, generating the IR brightness, according to a 2021 paper.

Supernovae are more than just exploding stars. They’re part of Nature’s great recycling. How they explode, how they create metals and spread them out into space, and how they shape their surroundings are all active areas of study.

There’s a lot going on in the region around a supernova after it explodes. Shock waves bounce off one another, dust is created and then destroyed, and different parts of the remnant’s anatomy light up with different energies at different times.

As SN 2010jl shows us, supernovae are dynamic objects that shape their environments long after they explode. By observing their remnants for many years, astronomers are answering key questions about the progenitor stars that exploded and the ongoing aftermath.

Sia

Related Posts

Unexplained Phenomenon: Video Reveals Four-Armed UFO Circling the Sun, Sparking Conspiracy Theories and Accusations of NASA Concealment

Alien hunters claim the mystery object has been orbiting the Earth’s star for five years, capturing energy from the colossal star A gigantic four-armed UFO spotted orbiting…

Exploring the Unknown: SpaceX’s ISS Link-Up Sparks UFO Speculations, Piquing Curiosity Among Enthusiasts

SpaceX alien shock: UFO-hunters spot SPACESHIP during International Space Station link-up ALIEN hunters were sent into a frenzy when they saw what they believe to be a…

Mysterious Skies: Boomerang-Shaped Object, 5,500km Wide, Spotted Near Sun on Nov 27, 2023, Captured on Astonishing Video

I was looking at objects near the sun on Helioviewer. It’s a NASA program that is designed for the public and educators to share. I found that…

Archaeological Mystery: Ancient Stone Circles in Jordan Baffle Experts, Posing Unanswered Questions

Scattered across Jordan are 12 giant circular structures that can only be fully seen using aerial and satellite images. Known collectively as the Big Circles, the vast…

Mystical Patterns Unraveled: The Enigmatic Phenomenon of Fairy Circles Expands, Now Documented in 15 Countries, Continues to Baffle Scientists

NAMIBIA’S fairy circles are bizarre phenomena that have long been one of nature’s most baffling mysteries, until now. The scientists published their work in Nature journal, where…

Scientists Chart 1,000 Feet of Hidden ‘Structures’ Concealed Beneath the Enigmatic Dark Side of the Moon

With data from China’s Chang’e-4 rover, scientists were able to visualize the upper 1,000 feet of the moon’s surface for the first time. Their results reveal billions…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *