The death of a star has been captured on film just fourteen days after the explosion occurred, marking the supernova in the galaxy Galàxia del Remolí (M51) that occurred in June as the youngest supernova to be photographed.
Numerous telescopes across Spain, Sweden, Germany and Finland, including NASA’s telescopes at Robledo de Chavela (Madrid) and those of the National Geographic Institute in Yebes (Guadalajara), recorded the information that was then processed by a supercomputer in The Netherlands. The supercomputer was then able to assimilate all the data in such a way as to mimic one telescope that could measure thousands of kilometers of space.
According to AlphaGalileo.org, the coordinated telescopes were able to capture a level of detail in the supernova that would be comparable to seeing a golf ball on the surface of the moon.
“This is the earliest high resolution image of a supernova explosion. From this photograph, we can define the expansion velocity of the shock wave created in the explosion,” says Iván Martí of the Institut Max Planck of Radio Astronomy in Bonn (Germany).
The results of the research, which was conducted by the University of Valencia and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, will be published this week in the journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The international team that achieved the above photograph is already working on new observations.