A Hubble image of a supernova remnant — known as 1E 0102.2-7219

Israeli scientists discover new type of supernova thought to be impossible

Weizmann Institute scientists observe the previously-hypothetical supernova of a massive Wolf-Rayet star, which they say could lead to a new understanding of planet's life cycle, and the eventual death of our very own sun

i24NEWS |
Published: 01.13.22, 10:12
Scientists at Israel's renowned Weizmann Institute of Science detected the supernova of a massive Wolf-Rayet star, a phenomenon that up until now was considered impossible.
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  • This observation, detailed in a study published in the academic journal "Nature", considers how this new phenomenon could change what we know about the universe, and how its massive stars will eventually die.
    2 View gallery
    A Hubble image of an expanding, gaseous corpse — a supernova remnant — known as 1E 0102.2-7219
    A Hubble image of an expanding, gaseous corpse — a supernova remnant — known as 1E 0102.2-7219
    A Hubble image of a supernova remnant — known as 1E 0102.2-7219
    (Photo: AFP)
    “Stars live and die as we do. In their death, they create these heavier elements that we’re made of, like carbon and oxygen, explained Rachel Bruch, Ph.D. student and candidate at Weizmann Institute of Science.
    A supernova is a powerful astronomical explosion that occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star, which then either collapses into a neutron star or a black hole, or is just completely destroyed.
    2 View gallery
    An artist's impression of supernova
    An artist's impression of supernova
    An illustration of an exploding star in the galaxy M81 whose light reached the Milky Way 21 years ago
    (Photo: ESA)
    “What’s so specific about this star, is that it's very massive. Wolf-Rayet stars are particularly big and very turbulent,” Baruch continued, adding that turbulent winds push way the “envelope of hydrogen and helium” which usually end up in the core of the supernova, adding that such an explosion “has not been observed until now.”
    “This is a new piece of the puzzle of how stars explode, which gives us a new hint of how they end their lives.”
    “Some of the questions that we all have is, how are we going to die? How is the sun going to end its life? These types of observations will map out the possible outcomes.”

    Story republished with permission from i24NEWS
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