Since 2014 there has not been a stellar explosion like the one that occurred in the month of May. Astronomers were surprised by the majesty of this supernova that hundreds of professionals rushed to observe after its discovery by the Japanese Koichi Itagaki. One of the groups that concentrated on studying him was that of Professor Alex Filippenko, who curiously had obtained photos of the supernova the night before just before it exploded.
Analyzing the supernova explosion
The team led by Filippenko concentrated on analyzing the spectropolarimetry data what they did with the data from the star. This is how they appreciated details that, until now, had not been analyzed in any supernova explosion. For example, it had never been possible to analyze the polarization of light from a stellar explosion that had occurred so close. So they came to identify the shape and extent which came to have the material ejected in the supernova.
As the professor says, when the explosion occurs a series of waves are generated that make everything shine in a very striking way. They still do not know exactly if what generates this phenomenon is ultraviolet radiation or the shock wave, but they are clear that, thanks to this, a spectropolarimetry analysis can help them see everything more clearly. And the data that is collected from it is most valuable.
Another of the studies was carried out at a different university, at UC Berkeley, where the spectroscopic data was used for a different purpose. In this case, his intention was to get to depict the story of the supernova both before and after the explosion. That has allowed them to know that, in recent years, the star had been expelling gas. Although they only make estimates in which they do not want to give definitive information, they believe that the expulsion of 5% of the mass of the star would have been produced. Thanks to these data and others that are being developed thanks to the explosion of SN 2023ixf, a lot could be discovered about supernovae, especially about type 2 ones, the category in which this one is included.
The world of astronomy has been totally impressed with how the supernova SN 2023ixf has changed everything. Never before have so many studies been published. linked to the same stellar explosion, counting these by dozens. Some are more interesting than others, while there are also some that step on each other in view of how difficult it would have been, at the time, to agree different groups of astronomers. But this does not detract from the fact that this explosion that occurred in May has become one of the key moments in the history of astronomy in 2023.
One of the key points on which Professor Raffaella Margutti places special emphasis is how the information obtained in these studies far exceeds what had been previously obtained from most supernovae. Because systems have been used that open a new path of investigation that exceeds everything recorded so far. He mainly comments that there are not many occasions when, like now, absolutely all the wavelengths emitted in the explosion have been recorded. Not only optical or ultraviolet, but also X-ray or radio. All. That is something that will give them a lot of work in the future, since as she says, they have just written the first chapter of a much longer investigation.
if you are passionate supernova research as well as the astronomers who have participated in these studies, we recommend that you take a look at the studies that we have linked throughout the news. It sure isn’t the last time we talk about these stellar explosions!