Astronomers witness the death of supergiants in real time (video) — Action News Now

What they saw contradicted previous opinions about the behavior of these stars before they exploded.

For the first time in history, scientists were able to track a red supergiant star in real time in the last 130 days, and observe the rapid self-destruction and death pain of this massive star before a violent explosion.

Previously, it was believed that the red supergiant star remained calm before collapsing into a Type II supernova, and did not show any signs of near extinction-such as an explosion or glow.

But a new learn Astronomers at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley believe that things actually happened differently, detecting the bright radiation of a red supergiant star before it exploded.

This may mean that at least some supergiants will undergo significant internal transformations over time, which will result in spectacular gas jets before they die.

The scientists made an animated video recording what they saw as the star self-destructed and collapsed.

“For the first time we saw a red supergiant exploding,” Dad’s lead author Wynn Jacobson-Galán said that the team’s work “A breakthrough in our understanding of what a massive star will do just before death.”

Researchers at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii detected bright radiation from a massive star that was doomed to fail for the first time in the summer of 2020.

A few months later, a supernova illuminated the sky, and Jacobson-Galán’s team used the Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS) of the WM Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to witness the violence in real time.

“The data shows direct evidence of dense peristellar matter around the star at the time of the explosion,” Astronomers pointed out.

They named this powerful explosive supernova 2020tlf (SN 2020tlf), saying it was caused by a star ten times larger than our sun and about 120 million light-years away from the Earth.

“It’s like watching a ticking time bomb,” Raffaella Margutti, the senior author of the paper, talked about the team’s observations. “Until now, we have never confirmed such violent activity in a dying red supergiant star. We have seen it generate such intense radiation, then collapse and burn.”

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