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Indian researchers spot rare superluminous supernova shining with borrowed energy source

An extremely bright, hydrogen deficient, fast-evolving supernova that shines with the energy borrowed from an exotic type of neutron star with an ultra-powerful magnetic field has been spotted by Indian researchers.

A deep study of such ancient spatial objects can help probe the mysteries of the early universe, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said.

Supernovae (SNe) are highly energetic explosions in the universe releasing an enormous amount of energy. Such type of supernovae called SuperLuminous Supernova (SLSNe) are very rare.

This is because they generally originated from very massive stars (minimum mass limit is more than 25 times that of the sun), and the number distribution of such massive stars in our galaxy or in nearby galaxies is sparse. Among them, SLSNe-I has been counted to about 150 entities spectroscopically confirmed so far, the DST said.

These ancient objects are among the least understood SNe because their underlying sources are unclear, and their extremely high peak luminosity is unexplained, it said.

The SN 2020ank, first discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility on January 19, 2020, was studied by scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital

Source
The Hindu
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