ASTRONOMERS have witnessed “the most powerful supernova observed in human history” as a star exploded in a distant galaxy and burned 570billion times brighter than our sun.
The supernova was even 20 times brighter than our entire milky way and twice as bright as any supernova that has been documented so far, when it was at its peak in 2015.
A team from the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University in Beijing used a network of telescopes called All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASASSN) to locate the supernova.
As a result, the explosion, which is 3.8bn light years away, has been named ASASSN-15lh.
Such has been the vast amount of energy emitted from the supernova that scientists have been baffled as to what caused it.
Professor Subo Dong of the Kavli Institute said: “The honest answer is at this point that we do not know what could be the power source for ASASSN-15lh.
“[It] may lead to new thinking and new observations of the whole class of superluminous supernova.
“ASASSN-15lh is the most powerful supernova discovered in human history. The explosion’s mechanism and power source remain shrouded in mystery because all known theories meet serious challenges in explaining the immense amount of energy it has radiated.”
Supernovae have been seen throughout human history, some stretching back older than 2000 years.
However, these extremely bright star explosions, known as super luminous supernovae or hypernovae, are a more recent discovery, with the term being coined in 1998.
EXPRESS REPORT HERE