US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — On February 22, 2016, an explosion of the distant supernova SN2016aps was recorded , which, according to astronomers, flared brighter than our entire Galaxy. The process lasted more than 1000 days, throwing record amounts of energy, so SN2016aps can rightly be called the most powerful supernova in the entire history of observations.
British astrophysicist Matt Nicholl and his colleagues found that SN2016aps luminosity enhancement was detected even earlier, in December 2015, and can be seen in data collected during the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory review . Scientists continued to observe the supernova for more than two years, while it emitted in the visible and ultraviolet ranges – a surprisingly long time for supernovae. The results of this work are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy .
Based on the spectrum of the star, it exploded in the depths of a dense gas cloud. The particles with which the flying substance collided slowed it down and heated up, creating such a bright and long flash: almost all of the kinetic energy of the explosion turned into thermal energy. This feature characterizes type IIn supernovae ; however, even against the background of these large objects, SN2016aps stands out for its cyclopean dimensions.
According to scientists, the explosion produced more than 10 52 erg of energy and threw a total of 50 to 100 solar masses – 5-10 times the average supernova. Therefore, Nykol and his co-authors attribute SN2016aps to pair-unstable supernovae – so massive that after their explosion there is no neutron star or black hole. The substance of the deceased star, turning into iron, is completely scattered throughout the surrounding space.
Such objects are described mainly theoretically. In observations, they remain extremely rare, and only a few candidates for paired-unstable supernovae are still known. Now they have become one – and very large – candidate more.
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