An extremely bright, hydrogen deficient, fast-evolving supernova that shines with the energy borrowed from an exotic type of neutron star with an ultra-powerful magnetic field has been spotted by Indian researchers. Deep study of such ancient spatial objects can help probe the mysteries of the early universe.
Such type of supernovae called SuperLuminous Supernova (SLSNe) is very rare. This is because they are generally originated from very massive stars (minimum mass limit is more than 25 times to that of the Sun), and the number distribution of such massive stars in our galaxy or in nearby galaxies is sparse.
The team observed it using special arrangements at the country’s recently commissioned Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT-3.6m) along with two other Indian telescopes: Sampurnanand Telescope-1.04m and Himalayan Chandra Telescope-2.0m. They discovered that the outer layers of the onion-structured Supernovae had been peeled off, and the core was shining with a borrowed energy source.
In-depth investigations of the phenomenon could explore the underlying physical mechanisms, possible progenitors, and environments hosting such rare explosions and their possible associations with other energetic explosions like Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs).