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News Picks : Newly discovered supernova is the brightest ever seen

By: Physics Today
15 January 2016 On 14 January a team of astronomers examining data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) announced that they had found a supernova 200 times as powerful as the most commonly found type of supernovae. At its peak, it produced 570 billion times as much light as the Sun and is twice as luminous as the next brightest supernova ever found. Located 3.8 billion light years from Earth, it can't be seen with the naked eye, but if it were as close as the brightest star in Earth's sky, it would appear as bright as the Sun. The spectrum of the supernova appears to put it in a class of extremely rare super-luminous supernova, but the mechanisms that drove the explosion to be so bright are not clear. None of the current models of supernova explosions are close matches, but subsequent observations may provide enough information to get a clearer picture of what caused this explosion.


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