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Las Cumbres Observatory

A New Type of Supernova Illuminates an Old Mystery

28 Jun 2021, 07:55 UTC
A New Type of Supernova Illuminates an Old Mystery NASA/STScI/J. DePasquale; LCO

A worldwide team led by scientists at Las Cumbres Observatory has discovered the first convincing evidence for a new type of stellar explosion -- an electron-capture supernova. While they have been theorized for 40 years, real-world examples have been elusive. They are thought to arise from the explosions of massive super-asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) stars, for which there has also been scant evidence. The discovery also sheds new light on the thousand-year mystery of the supernova from A.D. 1054 that was seen all over the world in the daytime, before eventually becoming the Crab Nebula.

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