Death flash of an exploding star seen by planet-hunting Kepler telescope
March 22, 2016 - Uncategorized
In a first, the alien planet hunting telescope Kepler has seen a bright flash of a shockwave sent out by an exploding star at the end of its life.
The shockwave was propelled out into the universe by a red supergiant star, which exploded in 2011, 1.2 billion light-years from Earth. The star was about about 500 times the size of the sun.
The bright flash of the supernova’s shockwave — known as the “shock breakout” — is only visible for about 20 minutes, according to current models, so actually seeing it is incredibly difficult.