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Violently exploding red supergiant star imaged for the first time

Astronomers have observed for the first time a red supergiant star explosively dying and leaving behind a supernova, SN 2020tlf.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Fri, Jan 7 2022 3:30 AM CST

A study regarding the monumental discovery was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Violently exploding red supergiant star imaged for the first time 01 | TweakTown.com

Astronomers used two Hawaiian telescopes, based at the University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy Pan-STARRS on Haleakala, Maui and the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawai'i Island, to observe the last 130 days of a red supergiant's life.

The research team observed the star's collapse into a Type II supernova while conducting the Young Supernova Experiment (YSE) transient survey, the first observation of its kind. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) detected the star in mid-2020, and a few months later, a supernova had taken its place, designated supernova 2020tlf, or SN 2020tlf.

"Keck was instrumental in providing direct evidence of a massive star transitioning into a supernova explosion. It's like watching a ticking time bomb. We've never confirmed such violent activity in a dying red supergiant star where we see it produce such a luminous emission, then collapse and combust, until now," said Raffaella Margutti, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and the study's senior author.

You can read more from the study here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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