Titanic, escaped a thermonuclear explosion. Disappearing act. The atomic bomb of nature. NASA certainly knows how to describe a supernova, the last moments of a star̵
Seventy million light-years away in the picturesque spiral galaxy NGC 2525, a white dwarf exploded and the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed its last days. NASA and the European Space Agency, which co-operates Hubble, have released a rare time frame for the supernova’s brightness to fade.
The space telescope first observed the supernova, called SN 2018gv, in February 2018. The rupture spans almost a year of Hubble observations.
Initially, the supernova outperforms the other stars in its host galaxy. “When a star releases as much energy in a matter of days as our sun in a few billion years, you know it won’t stay visible for long,” a NASA statement said Thursday.
Hubble is observing the supernova as scientists work to better understand the extent of the universe’s expansion. “Not only by providing celestial fireworks, supernovae can be used as mileage markers to measure distances to galaxies,” NASA said. “This criterion is needed to calculate how quickly galaxies appear to differ from each other, which in turn provides an estimate of age for the universe.”
While supernovae are relatively common throughout the universe, the passing of Hubble’s time gives us a rare look at the dramatic process, along with a sharp reminder that even stars are not permanent.
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