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Hubble Catches Fading Supernova

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Text, News From The Universe. October 12, 2020
 
Hubble Catches Fading Supernova
 
It's rare to glimpse the bright flash of a supernova.
 
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[COSMIC MUSIC]
 
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This supernova was first detected by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki
 
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was able to pivot and capture images of the rapidly fading flash.
 
This time-lapse compresses nearly one year's worth of Hubble observations into a few seconds.
 
Time-Lapse, a bright star quickly disappears amidst myriad other stars as its flash diminishes.
 
The supernova occurred in a binary star system.
 
The smaller, more massive white dwarf star pulled material from its companion until it was hot enough to ignite the supernova.
 
In just days, the supernova unleashed as much energy as the Sun does in several billion years.
 
All of this type of supernova peak at a known luminosity, called a "standard candle."
 
A graph shows Brightness swiftly diminishing over Time.
 
Text, Astronomers use this standard as a cosmic tape measure, to measure the distances, age and expansion rate of the universe.
 
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore MD.