In a major breakthrough, Indian researchers spot rare, ultra-luminous supernova


The supernova which has been named SN 2020ank first came to light when the Zwicky Transient Facility traced it in January last year. (Representative image)

In a significant breakthrough, Indian researchers have been able to spot a glittering, ultra fast-paced supernova. Supernova is a celestial object that borrows its energy from an exotic type of neutron star and has an extremely powerful magnetic field around it. According to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), study of supernovae like ancient spatial objects are extremely significant with regard to probing the mysteries of the early universe, news agency PTI reported. Supernovae are considered to be extremely energetic explosions which release exorbitant amounts of energy. Spotting a Supernova is also considered to be a rare feat among the scientific community as few researchers have been able to witness the rare celestial object.

What makes Supernova rare and unique?
Supernovae find their origin in massive stars whose mass is about 25 times that of the Sun itself. Since such stars are extremely few in number in the entire universe, spotting a supernova emerging out of these stars is a great deal. Scientists have been trying to get to the bottom of the origin of these highly luminous objects and the causes behind their radiant energy for decades.

When did scientists first observe the Supernova?
The supernova which has been named SN 2020ank first came to light when the Zwicky Transient Facility traced it in January last year. The object was subsequently studied by the India scientists from Nainital’s Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) during February 2020 and April 2020. In order to gain better insights about the object, the scientists viewed the object through two Indian telescopes as well namely- Sampurnanand Telescope-1.04m and Himalayan Chandra Telescope-2.0m. The study which was led by PhD scholar Amit Kumar has finally been published in the Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society. Kumar in his research found that the outer layers of the supernova had withered away and the core of the object was shining ferociously. However, Kumar’s study also says that the source behind the glow of the object is external.

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