Astronomer snaps 'one in 100 million' shot of massive exploding star

Astronomer snaps 'one in 100 million' shot of massive exploding star

In the near future, projects such as the recently commissioned Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory in California might make such early detection commonplace, says astronomer Avishay Gal-Yam of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

The follow-up research was also able to figure out the type of the supernova and the details of the original star it came from.

Dr Bersten contacted an global group of astronomers to help conduct additional frequent observations of SN 2016gkg. Instead, he was performing tests on a new camera.

In this project, scientists move one step closer to understanding the exact set of circumstances that trigger the supernova explosion - that one moment in time.

Professional astronomers afterwards analyzied Buso's photos, and they continued observing SN 2016gkg with big telescopes.

Luckily for professionals and experts in the field, the new revelations can now provide important insights into the star's physical nature right before its explosive demise, as well as the nature of the explosion itself.

'Observations of stars in the first moments they begin exploding provide information that can not be directly obtained in any other way'.

Bersten and her team followed Buso's observations with monitoring from other telescopes, including the Earth-orbiting Swift telescope, and compared them to earlier data from around the supernova site archived by the Hubble Space Telescope.

An amateur astronomer based in Argentina captured a brightly lit star around a galaxy.

He was taking 20-second exposure images and after some time, he saw that there were some photos that were different than the online images coming from other observatories. The object steadily brightened for about 25 minutes, as shown quantitatively in the lower-right panel. Astronomers have seen several supernova remnants till date but Victor Buso, who has a particular interest in astronomy, is the first person in the world to see the elusive, initial changes that take place as and when a massive star explodes.

Above you'll see images captured by Victor Buso, showing the appearance and expansion of Supernova 2016gkg.

Mr. Filippenko, addressing the rare and impressive event, claimed amateur astronomer Buso won something he called the cosmic lottery.

With the help of a friend, Buso immediately reported his discovery to the International Astronomical Union, a body of professional astronomers.

"Professional astronomers have always been searching for such an event", said Berkeley astronomer Alex Filippenko, who followed up the discovery with more observations at the Lick and Keck observatories. Further, the size of the star was approximately 20 solar masses, however, when during the process of supernova, the inner forces of the star tugged it closely together forming a size of just over five solar masses before it releases all the energy in the universe and dies.

Bottom line: Supernovae - exploding stars - are unpredictable.

Amateur astronomers have made some pretty incredible observations in the past, including asteroids striking Jupiter, a brand-new system of four Super-Earth exoplanets, and just recently, the rediscovery of a NASA satellite long thought lost.