Astronomers have discovered the brightest and most energetic supernovae known to date. The total energy release SN2016aps was hundreds of times more than a normal supernova. This is because her star ancestor formed by a merger of two stars into one. Article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The interaction of the supernova with a dense circumstellar environment can significantly increase the luminosity by converting the kinetic energy of the expanding substance in a heat. For example, in heavy duty supernova (SLSN, superluminous supernova) of type IIn, such process may be allocated up to ~1051 erg. Several optical transients in the centers of active galaxies showed similar supernova spectra and a much larger energy release, but they are difficult to distinguish from outbreaks during the accretion of matter onto a supermassive black hole. Search and study powerful flares supernovae are essential to understanding the processes taking place in the depths of the stars in the final stages of their evolution and leading to such disasters.
A team of astronomers led by Matt Nikolla (Matt Nicholl) reported the results of a study of supernova SN2016aps, which was opened by means of a system PanSTARRS 22 Feb 2016. At the time of detection of the supernova had an absolute magnitude -22,5m, she broke out in the brightest region of star formation in the small galaxy at redshift z = 0,2657. In the future, a supernova for four years, it has been observed by ground observatories and space telescope “Hubble”, and the analysis of archival data allowed to reveal the beginning of the increase of the brightness of the source in December 2015.
Data analysis showed that SN2016aps can be considered the brightest and most energetic supernovae known to date. For the ordinary supernova energy released in the form of optical radiation, is only one percent of the total energy of 1051 erg. For SN2016aps the total energy release is estimated at 1052 erg, of which 50 percent was allocated in the form of optical radiation that is hundreds of times higher than previously observed supernova.
Such extreme properties of the supernova can be explained by the merger of two massive stars into one, the total mass of the resulting system is estimated at more than 50-100 solar masses and the core of a star could have a mass of about 50 solar masses. The resulting massive star exploded as throbbing pair-instability supernova, the collision of the shock wave at the stage of the explosion with a massive shell of previously ejected material could provide the observed energy release of a supernova.