Hubble Breaks Record For Furthest Supernova


Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has broken the record in the quest to find the furthest supernova of the type used to measure cosmic distances. This supernova exploded more than 10 billion years ago (redshift 1.914), at a time the Universe was in its early formative years and stars were being born at a rapid rate.

The supernova, designated SN UDS10Wil [1], belongs to a special class of exploding stars known as Type Ia supernovae. These bright beacons are prized by astronomers because they can be used as a yardstick for measuring cosmic distances, thereby yielding clues to the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force accelerating the rate of expansion of the Universe.

“This new distance record holder opens a window into the early Universe, offering important new insights into how these supernovae form,” said astronomer David O. Jones of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., lead author on the science paper detailing the discovery. “At that epoch, we can test theories about how reliable these detonations are for understanding the evolution of the Universe and its expansion.”

One of the debates surrounding Type Ia supernovae is the nature of the fuse that ignites them. This latest discovery adds credence to one of two competing theories of how they explode.

Full Story and Images: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1306/
Also: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2013/11/full/
Also: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/sn-wilson.html
Also: http://releases.jhu.edu/2013/04/04/farthest-supernova/

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  1. April 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Reblogged this on Musings of a Science Enthusiast and commented:
    Amazing stuff!

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