Indian Scientists Spot Rare Supernova Shining With Borrowed Power Source


New Delhi: Scientists in India 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.

Such supernovae, called SuperLuminous Supernova (SLSNe), are very rare, and a close study of these ancient space objects can help unravel the mysteries of the early universe, the science and technology department said.

Indeed, they generally come from very massive stars (the minimum mass limit is more than 25 times greater than that of the sun), and the distribution of the number of stars as massive in our galaxy or in neighboring galaxies is sparse, did he declare.

Among them, 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. the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement. .

SN 2020ank, which was first discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility on January 19, 2020, 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 during the containment phase of March and April.

The apparent appearance of the SN was very similar to other objects in the field. However, once the brightness was estimated, it turned out to be a very blue object reflecting its brighter character.

The team observed it using special arrangements at India’s recently commissioned Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT-3.6m) along with two other Indian telescopes: the Sampurnanand-1.04m telescope and the Himalayan Chandra-2.0m telescope. They found that the outer layers of the onion-structured supernovae had peeled off and the core was glowing with a borrowed energy source. The study, led by Amit Kumar, a Ph.D. student working under Dr SB Pandey and published in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notices, suggested a possible power source from an exotic type. 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 established the role of 3.6. DOT in the exploration of remote SLSNe very rare in the future. Further investigation 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 (GRBs) and rapid radio bursts (FRBs). , said the DST.

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