Titanic, fugitive thermonuclear explosion. A missing gesture. Atomic bomb. NASA certainly knows how to describe a supernova, the last moment of the existence of a star.
Seventy million light years away from the beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 2525, a white dwan exploded and the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed its last days. NASA and the European Space Agency, which co-operate with Hubble, have released a rare illumination time of the supernova̵7;s fading rays.
The space telescope first began watching the supernova, named SN 2018gv, in February 2018. Time-lapse covers almost a year of observations on Hubble.
The supernova has also released other stars in its host galaxy. “When a star emits as much energy in a few days as our sun does for billions of years, you know it will not remain visible for long,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday.
Hubble observed the supernova as scientists worked to better understand the rate of expansion of the universe. “More than just providing distorted fireworks, supernovae can be used as milepost markers to measure distance to galaxies,” NASA said. “This measure is needed to calculate how fast it appears to be flying apart from each other, which in turn provides an age estimate for the universe.”
While supernovae are common throughout the universe, the Hubble time period gives us a rare glimpse into the dramatic process along with a touching reminder that even the stars are not permanent.
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