Scientists Stunned by Brightest-ever Supernova

Veil Nebula. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team)

“In the last days, God says…I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below” (Acts 2:17…19)

Scientists may have spotted the most powerful supernova ever seen, some 3.8 billion light years away in deep space.

Named ASASSN-15lh, it looks like a huge ball of hot gas and is radiating the energy of hundreds of billions of Suns. Ten miles across at its center, this object is putting on quite a show, creating a cosmic explosion about 200 times more powerful than a typical supernova and more than twice as luminous as the previous record-holding supernova.

Related: NASA releases stunning image of a supernova’s remnants

If that is enough to astound you, its explosion at its peak intensity was 570 billion times the brightness of the Sun. At that rate, its luminosity level is approximately 20 times the entire output of the 100 billion stars comprising our Milky Way galaxy.

“ASASSN-15lh is the most powerful supernova discovered in human history,” Subo Dong, an astronomer and a Youth Qianren Research Professor at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University and the lead author on a study on the supernova in the journal Science, said in a statement. “The explosion’s mechanism and power source remain shrouded in mystery because all known theories meet serious challenges in explaining the immense amount of energy ASASSN-15lh has radiated.”

In the four months after it first exploded, so much energy beamed out of ASASSN-15lh that it would take our Sun in its current state more than 90 billion years to equal its emissions. By examining this bright and the slowly fading afterglow, astronomers learned much about ASASSN-15lh including the fact that the chemical elements scattered after the explosion were different than any of the other 200 supernovae observed.

Excerpts taken from Fox News full story.

 

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