May 30, 2019

Subaru Telescope captures 1800 exploding stars


Overview of the press release

By combining one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras and a telescope capable of capturing a wider shot of the night sky compared to other big telescopes, a team of researchers from Japan have been able to identify about 1800 new supernovae, including 58 Type Ia supernovae 8 billion light years away, reports a new study released online on 30 May.

A supernova is the name given to an exploding star that has reached the end of its life. The star often becomes as bright as its host galaxy, shining one billion times brighter than the Sun for anytime between a month to six months before dimming down. Supernova classed as Type Ia are useful because their constant maximum brightness allows researchers to calculate how far the star is from Earth. This is particularly useful for researchers who want to measure the expansion of the Universe.

Figure 1. A map showing all of the supernovae (in red) discovered in this study. The blue circles indicate the areas Hyper Suprime-Cam was able to capture in one shot. The background is an image taken by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. An image of the moon has been added to understand the area of night sky Hyper Suprime-Cam can capture. (Credit: Kavli IPMU, Partial data supplied by: SDSS)


To read the full press release, please visit the Kavli IPMU website.


Assistant Professor Tomoki Morokuma(Institute of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo) participated in this research.


Publication details

Journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Title The Hyper Suprime-Cam SSP Transient Survey in COSMOS: Overview
DOI 10.1093/pasj/psz050


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