Rare Supernova Extinguishes Star At Unexpected Record Speed

ESA/Hubble & NASAAP Images

A rare type of supernova has defied all expected odds and managed to extinguish a star at an incredible speed, more than the usual 10 percent the speed of light that occurs most often. This recent event was one that has since been documented by scientists as record-breaking, as this breakthrough was not one any researcher ever saw coming.

According to Gizmodo, the supernova in question was extinguished in merely a few days, far quicker from the more recent records when it comes to this particular type of scientific discovery. These FELTs, otherwise known as fast-evolving luminous transients, normally develop quite fast as they are very intelligent, but they also disappear quickly. Researchers only became aware of this particular type of supernova a few years ago, and the study thereon has been quite illuminating for the scientific community on the whole.

The fact that this specific brand of supernovae manages to spend so little time in outer space sets it apart from most others, such as Type Ia supernovae, which can be measured in weeks or even months rather than days. Only a handful of FELTs has ever been documented, due to their extreme rarity.

The part of this recent discovery that has perplexed scientists, however, is not due to the fact that it is so short-lived but more how bright this supernova is overall. This particular type of supernovae is described as being the glowing remnant of a gamma-ray burst, this being a massive explosion that is the result of a collapsing star which, in turn, gives birth to a black hole. This can also be a supernova, which is fueled by a magnetar, otherwise known as a neutron star, which has a powerful magnetic field around it.

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As well as this, the discovery could also be a failed Type Ia supernova, which occurs when a white dwarf star sucks up the material contained by a nearby star. However, recent research details that this new discovery is unrelated to any of the aforementioned, reveals The Register.

The data in question was collected by the Kepler space telescope, which is fronted by an international team of astronauts led by Australian National University researcher Brad Tucker. This team, over the years, has managed to document the destruction of a star over 1 billion light-years away from Earth. One unexpected FELT was seen to have reached its maximum in just over two days, a speed 10 times faster than most supernovae.

After almost seven days, this star’s luminosity peaked to about half, with it disappearing 25 days later. This shocked researchers, as it was the most incredible example of a FELT that scientists have ever seen before.