The recent discovery of a new Type I supernova named "SN H0pe" could offer fresh insights into the universe's vast complexities.
Using the state-of-the-art James Webb Space Telescope, scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in the far-reaching galaxy cluster known as PLCK G165.7+67.0. They’ve spotted a new Type I supernova that could help us better understand star and galaxy evolution.
Supernovae are monumental blasts that occur in space, often outshining their entire galaxies. They are a goldmine for researchers, offering critical insights into how stars and galaxies change over time. These celestial events are classified into two main categories: Type I, which display no hydrogen spectral lines, and Type II, which do show these lines.
Specifically, Type Ia supernovae appear in binary star systems where one of the stars is a white dwarf. Observations of these colossal explosions offer researchers essential clues for understanding the development of stars and galaxies.
Meet “SN H0pe”
Astronomer Brenda L. Frye and her team at the Steward Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, have been studying PLCK G165.7+67.0, or G165 for brevity. This galaxy cluster carries a staggering mass of between 200 and 300 trillion solar masses. During their studies, they stumbled upon a new supernova with the James Webb Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Camera. They’ve named this discovery “SN H0pe,” locating it in an infrared-bright galaxy called Arc 2, which is gravitationally influenced by G165.
According to the study, SN H0pe is situated about 1.5-2 kiloparsecs from its host galaxy, Arc 2. Moreover, gravitational lensing by G165 has caused the supernova to appear in three distinct locations. This phenomenon allows researchers an unprecedented opportunity to measure Hubble’s constant through time delays between these multiple images of SN H0pe.
Further studies, including photometric and spectroscopic analyses, have verified that SN H0pe is indeed a Type Ia supernova. This adds a valuable piece to the ever-evolving puzzle of celestial knowledge.
The Host Galaxy: Arc 2
Researchers also found that the host galaxy, Arc 2, possesses a stellar mass of roughly 500 billion solar masses. It appears that this galaxy completed a star-formation phase about a billion years ago and is now accompanied by dwarf galaxies that continue to form stars.
Additional data from the James Webb Space Telescope revealed G165’s mass to be about 260 trillion solar masses. The study also noted a velocity offset in the cluster’s brightest galaxy, further enriching our understanding of this complex system.
The researchers are digging deeper into SN H0pe’s characteristics, with more findings slated to be disclosed in a forthcoming academic paper.
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