Indian researchers spot rare superluminous supernova lighting up with borrowed power source


Researchers have spotted an extremely bright, hydrogen-deficient, rapidly evolving supernova that glows with energy borrowed from an exotic type of neutron star with an ultra-strong magnetic field, the Department of Science and Technology informed on Saturday. Union Technology.

This type of supernova called SuperLuminous Supernova (SLSNe) is very rare. A thorough study of these ancient space objects can help unravel the mysteries of the early Universe, the ministry said.

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SLSNe are very rare because they usually originate from very massive stars (the minimum mass limits are more than 25 times that of the Sun) and the number distribution of these massive stars in our galaxy or in neighboring galaxies is sparse.

The team observed it using special arrangements at the country’s recently commissioned Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT-3.6m) along with two other Indian telescopes: the Sampurnanand-1.04m telescope and the Himalayan Chandra telescope. -2.0 m. They found that the outer layers of the onion-structured supernovae had peeled off and the nucleus was glowing with a borrowed energy source, the ministry said.

The study by Amit Kumar, a doctoral student working under the supervision of Dr SB Pandey, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, suggested a possible power source from an exotic type of neutron star. with an ultra-strong magnetic field (magnetar) with a total ejected mass of ~ 3.6 一 7.2 times the mass of the sun.

The study also established the role of 3.6. DOT in the exploration of SLSNe very distant in the future. Further investigations into the phenomenon could explore the underlying physical mechanisms, possible progenitors and environments harboring such rare explosions and their possible associations with other energetic explosions such as gamma-ray bursts (GRB) and rapid radio bursts ( FRB).

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SLSNe-I has been counted up to about 150 spectroscopically confirmed entities so far. These ancient objects are among the least understood SNe because their underlying sources are unclear and their extremely high peak brightness is unexplained using the conventional SN power source model involving Ni56 – Co56 – Fe56 decay, according to the ministry’s press release.

The ministry further said that SN 2020ank, which was first discovered by the Zwicky transitional facility on January 19 last year, has been studied by scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences. (ARIES) Nainital, an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology. (DST) from February 2020 then until the containment phase of March and April.

The apparent appearance of the SN was very similar to that of other objects in the field. However, the brightness estimate showed it to be a very blue object reflecting its brighter character, the ministry added.


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