Fastest optical flare from a supernova

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers has discovered the fastest optical explosion of a Type Ia supernova.

Despite the great benefit that astronomers derive from observations of Type Ia supernovae, researchers still cannot answer basic questions about the nature of such systems.

To find out more about the systems that give rise to Type Ia supernovae, a team of astronomers led by Ji-an Jiang of the Physics and Mathematics Institute. Kavli, Japan, attempted to capture a Type Ia supernova on the same day it occurred – that is, at the earliest stage of flash development – using next-generation observation instruments such as the Tomo-e Gozen camera, the world’s first wide-angle mosaic CMOS sensor …

While regularly checking early candidate supernovae, Jiang drew attention to one transient called Tomo-e202004aaelb.

Computer simulations by Jiang’s team have shown that this mysterious, fast optical burst could be attributed to the energy released by the interaction of supernova radiation with a previously ejected cloud of gas and material from interstellar space.

Spectroscopic observations carried out showed the team that this supernova is one of the brightest types of Type Ia supernovae.

The study is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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