When a star releases as much energy in a few days as our Sun for billions of years, it must be visible for a long time - this was the case of our today's heroine, whose self-detonation, like the best paparazzi, was observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Subsequently, all images taken by this intergalactic tool were assembled into a video that documents a massive explosion in a barred spiral galaxy NGC 2525 in the constellation Rufa, 70 million light-years away, discovered by William Herschel in 1791.
The Hubble Space Telescope began observing SN 2018gv in February 2018, after the supernova was detected by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki in mid-January. NASA astronomers have observed this phenomenon as part of a program that allows them to precisely measure the rate of expansion of the universe - a key value for a better understanding of the cosmos, because the supernova serves as a marker, a kind of milestone, to measure the distance of galaxies. In a time-lapse sequence spanning nearly a year, the supernova first appears as a blazing star that first shines through the brightest stars in the galaxy and then slowly fades away.
"No earthly fireworks can compete with this supernova captured by the Hubble Space Telescope," says Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University. The slicktips of supernova we see in the video comes from a self-detonating star, a dwarf located in a binary system that 'feeds' on its companion star. When a dwarf reaches its critical mass, its core is hot enough to initiate a thermonuclear reaction - this process turns the star into a giant atomic bomb and literally rips it apart. And since all supernovae of this type peak at the same brightness, they are great cosmic measures, because knowing the exact brightness and observing it in the sky, astronomers can calculate the distance to its galaxy and the rate of expansion of the universe.