Astronomers witness the death of a red supergiant for the first time

For the first time, astronomers have captured the death of a red supergiant.

The real-time discovery was published in the Astrophysical Journal on January 6, and was led by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley.

According to a press release from Northwestern UniversityThe team has observed the red supergiant in the last 130 days before it collapsed into a Type II supernova.

Previous observations showed that red supergiants were relatively inactive before their death, with no evidence of violent eruptions or luminescence.

However, these researchers detected bright radiation from red supergiants in the last year before the explosion.

“This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what a giant star will do just before it dies,” Win Jacobson Galan, Lead author of the studySaid in a statement. “Direct detection of pre-supernova activity in red supergiants has never been observed in normal type II supernovae. For the first time, we saw a red supergiant explode.”

This work, done in the northwest before Jacobson-Galán moved to the University of California, Berkeley, requires at least some stars to make major changes to their internal structure and release gas before they collapse. Suggests that there is.

The star was first detected by the PanSTARRS at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in the summer of 2020, and the group caught the flash a few months later.

The spectrum of the supernova 2020tlf was obtained using low resolution imaging at the WM Keck Observatory. Spectrometer..

The data revealed evidence of dense orbital material around the star at the time of the explosion.

By further monitoring post-explosion additional data from Keck Observatory’s deep imaging and multi-object spectrographs and near-infrared Echelet spectrographs, researchers have found that the red supergiant, the precursor of SN2020tlf. Sun..

“I’m most excited about all the new’unknowns’ unleashed by this discovery,” said Jacobson Galan. “Detecting more events like SN2020tlf has a dramatic impact on how we define the last moon of stellar evolution, the mystery of how giant stars spend the last moments of life. Connect the observer and the theorist to solve. “

The study was supported by NASA, National Science Foundation, Heidi Simons Foundation, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Birmfonden.

Astronomers witness the death of a red supergiant for the first time

Source link Astronomers witness the death of a red supergiant for the first time

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