In a First, Astronomers Watch a Giant Red Star Explode Violently in Real Time

The star exploded after it burnt through the hydrogen, helium, and other elements in its core.

In a First, Astronomers Watch a Giant Red Star Explode Violently in Real Time

Photo Credit: Astrophysical Journal/Northwestern University via CNN

An artist's impression of a red supergiant star releasing a gas cloud in the final year of its life

  • The star was located 120 million light-years away from Earth
  • Astronomers spotted the event in the NGC 5731 galaxy
  • This is the first time astronomers could see a star explode in real time

We have often heard and read about giant stars dying violently in deep space. Ever imagined what kind of a sight it would be? How would a star appear as it nears its end from Earth? We may finally have an answer. In a first for astronomy, researchers were able to see in real time the death by explosion of a giant red star using ground-based telescopes. They saw the star, located 120 million light-years away from Earth in the NGC 5731 galaxy, self-destruct in a dramatic event and collapse in a type-2 supernova.

The scientists said that the star was 10 times more massive than the Sun before it exploded. It erupted after it burnt through the hydrogen, helium, and other elements in its core. Before witnessing this event, astronomers believed that red supergiant stars were relatively calm before exploding into a supernova.

The research, published on January 6 in the Astrophysical Journal, marks a significant milestone in the study of the death throes of stars — those moments before they detonate in violent eruptions.

"This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what massive stars do moments before they die," Wynn Jacobson-Galan, the lead author of the study, said in a statement. “For the first time, we watched a red supergiant star explode."

The star's unusual activity was first detected by astronomers 130 days before it exploded, CNN reported. The University of Hawai's Institute for Astronomy Pan-STARRS telescope detected the bright radiation in the summer of 2020. Later that year, the researchers witnessed a supernova at the same place. Their observations revealed there was material around the star when it exploded.

Astronomers aim to use the research to look through the universe for more stars throwing out radiation and see whether it signals the imminent death of that star. The characteristics of stars are intimately tied to the characteristics of the planetary systems. Consequently, the study of the birth, life, and death of stars is central to the field of astronomy.

Xiaomi India speaks exclusively to Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, on their plans for 2022 and pushing for 120W fast charging with the 11i HyperCharge. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on X, Facebook, WhatsApp, Threads and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you want to know everything about top influencers, follow our in-house Who'sThat360 on Instagram and YouTube.

OnePlus 10 Pro Price Tipped Ahead of Launch, Camera Specifications Surface Online
E3 2022 Won't Be Held in Person Due to Rising Omicron Cases
Share on Facebook Gadgets360 Twitter Share Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News


Follow Us
© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Trending Products »
Latest Tech News »