They detect the fastest and brightest supernova in history: it was visible from Earth

V1674 Hercules, was first seen by an amateur astronomer from Japan, who informed scientists. Knowing a little more about this rare phenomenon could provide information about the chemical composition of the solar system, which is what astronomers are looking for.

The study was published this month, but the event was recorded on June 12, 2021, 100 light years from Earth. The fastest and brightest supernova in history, V1674 Herculesfar exceeded any other previously observed nova.

This is where astronomers from Arizona State University (USA) were able to record and contemplate an unprecedented explosion. It came from a white dwarf stealing gas from a red giant it was bonded to.

The evolution of this nova was so rapid, that its explosion only lasted a day and was so bright it could be seen from Earth with binoculars. Normally this process takes about a week, but V1674 Hercules was the exception.

“V1674 Hercules was not only the fastest nova on record, it was also a rare hybrid event,” says the study, published in the American Astronomical Society’s scientific journal Research Notes.

“It was only about a day, and the previous fastest nova was the one we studied in 1991, the V838 Herculis. It went down in about two or three days,” explained Sumner Starrfield, head of the ‘study.

What does the fastest and brightest supernova in history tell us about the Cosmos?

The phenomenon has become an intriguing and completely new subject of study for astronomers.. But to understand the magnitude of this discovery, it is necessary to know how the supernovae that scientists have observed so far work.

these explosions occur when a massive star is in the final stages of its evolution as a white dwarf, until it finally collapses in runaway nuclear fusion. After exploding, it can become a neutron star, a black hole or simply destroy itself.

We must also consider that a supernova is a very noticeable stellar explosion in space and releases huge amounts of energy. For instance, if one were to happen close to Earth (but at a distance where it couldn’t harm it), the sky could be lit up for days. Even at night.

V1674 Hercules, was first seen by an amateur astronomer from Japan, who informed scientists. Knowing a little more about this rare phenomenon could provide information about the chemical composition of the solar system, which is what astronomers are looking for.

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