Context: Researchers at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital observed SN 2010kd, a super-luminous supernova which ejected an amount of mass as well as Nickel during the explosion.
What are Supernovae?
- They are a kind of energetic explosions where the core of massive stars (a few times that of mass of our Sun) go to a catastrophic phase of explosion liberating huge amounts of energy.
- These events are visible through very far away distances much beyond our own solar system.
- Super-luminous supernovae are a special type of stellar explosions having energy output 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae.
Significance of the observations:
- The scientists said that the larger ejected mass of Super-luminous supernovae SN 2010kd indicates that the related star evolution might be different from other possible progenitors of normal core-collapse supernovae with a different possible underlying physical mechanism responsible for producing such energetic supernovae with large ejected mass and Ni.
- The original object in a Supernova explosion is called the progenitor which either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or it is completely destroyed.
- It exploded with a larger velocity but decayed shower than other similar supernovae.
- The observations of the scientists show that parameters like rotation and metallicity play a crucial role in stellar explosions and that there are many more types of possible progenitors existing in diverse environments in their host galaxies than previously known.
- In Astronomy, metallicity is the abundance of elements present in an object that are heavier than hydrogen or helium.
- At a given mass and age, a metal-poor star will be slightly warmer.
- Above 40 solar masses, metallicity influences how a star will die.
- Lower metallicity stars will collapse directly to a black hole, while higher metallicity stars undergo a supernova and may leave a neutron star.
- It indicates that the related star evolution might be different from other possible progenitors of normal core-collapse supernovae with a different possible underlying physical mechanism responsible for producing such energetic supernovae with large ejected mass and Ni.
About stellar explosions
- The death of a massive star is a spectacular event.
- When the star has consumed all of its nuclear fuel, its core collapses.
- This leads to a strong blast wave that ejects the stellar envelope at a velocity of about 1–3% of the speed of light, producing a supernova explosion.