NASA`s new stunning time lapse video shows a very big star exploding

Katie Ramirez
October 6, 2020

Supernovae can help astronomers measure the distances to galaxies, acting like mile markers for the rate at which galaxies speed away from each other.

The resulting time-lapse shared by NASA and ESA reveals the supernova actually outshining even the brightest stars in the galaxy.

If you try to zoom into the video, you will observe the outer spiral arm of the galaxy and lights coming out of supernova 2018gv.

Just like a cosmic paparazzo, NASA's praised and mighty Hubble Space Telescope spotted and captured, of course, the evanescent celebrity status of a supernova, the self-destruction of a star.

The supernova event - named SN 2018gv - is one of the key tools cosmologists and astrophysicists use to track the rate of expansion of the universe.

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The time-lapse film, which spans nearly a full year, showcases a Type Ia supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 2525. Type Ia supernovae consistently reach a peak brightness of 5 billion times brighter than our Sun before fading over time. Now astronomers have stitched together the consecutive photos taken over a year in a time-lapse sequence.

Pictured here, in an image released on October 1, 2020, is part of the captivating galaxy NGC 2525. The video shows the star exploding and fading into nothingness in a matter of seconds. A supernova, for the uninitiated, is a powerful and bright stellar explosion which occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star.

Riess and his team are interested in accurately measuring the distance to these galaxies since it helps them better constrain the expansion rate of the Universe, known as the Hubble constant. "The opulence is short-lived as the fireball fades away", NASA said in a statement. It's a Type Ia supernova, meaning it originates from a binary white dwarf star that's sucking in matter from its companion star. And now, Hubble has essentially captured a time-lapse movie of this event.

According to NASA's very own press release, The Hubble Telescope can be compared to an "intergalactic paparazzi" who documented every bit of the star's discovery and eventual explosion in 2019. When the white dwarf enters a critical mass, its core turns hot enough to ignite nuclear fusion, becoming a giant atomic bomb. Riess is a professor of astronomy and physics at Johns Hopkins University and a senior member of the science staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, both in Baltimore. The next month, Hubble began observing it, watching as it dimmed over time.

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