NASA Kepler telescope solves mystery of fast and furious exploding star

NASA earlier reported that its Kepler K2 space telescope will soon run out of propellant and decided to take advantage of this giant space telescope before it goes into the deep space without any control. Kepler K2 space telescope has captured a dying star in incredible details. As per the researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) who studied the last moment of the dying star, this was one of the most violent explosions which took place quite rapidly and it is rare, unlike other supernovas.

The researchers elaborated how this particular supernova happened according to which, when a dying star comprising of immense energy and stellar material was surrounded by a dense shell of gas and dust. As soon as the star was near its final moment, a bright explosion took place when the energy trapped in the dying star slammed into the shell. This resulted in the total conversion of kinetic energy into light which traveled immense distance carrying stellar material into space. It was confirmed that this particular supernova lasted for just a few days which suggests that it was 10 times faster than a typical supernova which takes a decent amount of time.

Brad Tucker, a researcher at the University’s Research School of Astronomy furnished a statement stating the rarely discovered way a star dies and distributes stellar material back into space. One of the supernovae tracked by scientists clocked about a space of 8 miles per second. An average distance supernovas can reach from its singularity is 10 parsecs which are equivalent to 33 light-years.

The study has concluded that this particular speedy supernova belongs to the rare class of fast-evolving luminous transient (FELT) which is one of the four ways how stars die. Kepler was sent by NASA to hunt exoplanets and it has searched for more than 2,000 exoplanets till date with its state-of-the-art instruments and a giant mirror that reflects a different wavelength of lights which is used to capture details about exoplanets. Apart from that, Kepler has also contributed towards its hunt for uncharted black holes, supernovas and other sorts of an explosion happening in the space.

According to the study, the traditional model of supernovas are incapable of explaining about the speedy FELT supernovas. Kepler which is currently deep in the space has scientific instruments that can make precise measurements of starlight and even capture the slightest dim in the starlight which is how it captured exoplanets using transit mode. But astronomers believe that it can help prepare a new model specifically for FELTs supernovas.

The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy on March 26 and explains how a new type of supernova i.e. end of a star gets a turbo boost in its starlight from its surrounding for a brief time before it goes supernova. Kepler was used to obtaining precise and detailed information about the high-speed light that took place during the explosion. Astronomers are presently eying at the upcoming TESS space telescope that will have larger mirrors and capabilities compared to Kepler and will be able to capture rare explosions in high infrared wavelengths, unlike Kepler. TESS is expected to be soon somewhere in 2019.

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Saloni Sharma

Saloni Sharma is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.

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