Scientists have confirmed discovery of a supernova that exploded 10.5 billion years ago making it the most distant supernova ever.
The supernova named DES16C2nm is said to have been just a quarter of its current age when it exploded. The supernova was detected by the Dark Energy Survey and the findings of the study have been published in The Astrophysical Journal.
According to authors of the study light from the supernova took 10.5 billion years to reach Earth and this effectively makes the cosmic event the oldest supernova ever discovered and studied. The universe itself is thought to be 13.8 billion years old.
DES16C2nm is classified as a superluminous supernova, or SLSN, the brightest and rarest class of supernovae, first discovered 10 years ago. A supernova is the explosion of a massive star at the end of its life cycle. DES16C2nm is thought to be caused by material falling onto the densest object in the universe, a rapidly rotating neutron star newly formed in the explosion of a massive star. This violent explosion is brighter than even the brightest galaxies, according to authors of the study.
This particular supernova was detected in August 2016, and its distance and extreme brightness confirmed in October that year using three of the world’s most powerful telescopes, the Very Large Telescope and the Magellan, in Chile, and the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii.
Discovery of this particular supernovae could lead to advances in both stellar astrophysics and cosmology, scientists believe as they will try to investigate why and how stars die. Through their investigation, scientists could discover new information about how compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars are created.