Nasa and the European Space Agency have discovered a white dwarf star on the edge of NGC 2525, a spiral galaxy 70 million light-years away, and have been observing the end of its life. Observations by the Hubble telescope show that the supernova burst was 5 billion times brighter than the sun’s, but its light eventually disappeared a year later.
NGC 2525 Illustration (from NASA / ESA / Hubble)
NASA and ESA are reported to have been observing the supernova, called SN 2018gv, for nearly a year in February 2018.
NASA said in a statement Thursday that when a star emits billions of times the sun’s light in a few days, you know it’s time.
Screenshot of the video.
But Hubble’s observations of supernovae could also help scientists better understand the rate at which the universe expands. NASA added:
“Supernova eruptions are not only a brilliant cosmic firework, but also a milestone in measuring the distance of galaxies. We can use this to calculate the speed of the intergalactic speed, and instead to predict the age of the universe.”
Time-Lapse of Supernova in NGC 2525 (via)
Finally, NASA shared a time-lapse photography video documenting changes in the brightness of SN 2018gv supernovae, making us strongly aware that even stars in the sky don’t always shine in space.