Astronomers have finally captured something amazing.
According to GeoBeats News, a group recently captured a dying star’s shockwave in the optical wavelength:
Astronomers have performed a great number of studies on collapsing stars, but capturing a photo of one at the moment it explodes has proven elusive.
That changed recently, as an international team of astronomers searching through a wealth of data gathered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope found what they have long been seeking.
The image shows the bright flash of the shockwave, or as astronomers call it the shock breakout, pushing outward as the distant body turned from star to supernova.
Peter Garnavich who led the team noted, “In order to see something that happens on timescales of minutes, like a shock breakout, you want to have a camera continuously monitoring the sky. You don’t know when a supernova is going to go off, and Kepler’s vigilance allowed us to be a witness as the explosion began.”
The star called KSN 2011d was a particularly massive one, estimated to be 500 times larger than our own sun.
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