Composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100. Two new supernovas recently discovered by researchers may date back to the Big Bang. (Photo : Reuters)
Researchers have discovered the farthest explosions of stars-or supernovas- in the universe, which they think may have been among the first stars to come out of the Big Bang.
Identified as SN2213 and SN1000+2016, the two supernovas were discovered in image data obtained from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, which as run from 2003 to 2008, according to ARS Technica.
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The two supernovas were discovered by an international team, including Raymond Carlberg of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, according to Science Codex.com. Carlberg believes that these explosions may have occurred billions of years ago at a time when the universe was still young, and probably after the theorized Big Bang event that led to the creation of the universe.
"The objects are both unusually bright and unusually slow to fade. These are properties that are consistent with what is known as pair-instability supernova, a rare mechanism for explosion which is expected to happen for high-mass stars with almost no metal content. That is, the very first stars to form," said Carlberg.
In the past 12 years, according to Mother Nature Network, astronomers have detected a new class of supernovas, known as super-luminous supernovas, which are 100 times brighter than all others-both of which the recently discovered pair of star explosions are classified under.
"Super-luminous supernovae are very energetic events and extremely rare," lead study author Jeff Cooke, an astronomer at the Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn, Australia, told SPACE.com. "They are very destructive as well. In the early universe, many galaxies were quite small but vigorously forming stars. A single supernova of this type could disrupt a significant fraction of such a galaxy and, in some cases, cause the star formation process to come to a halt."
The study of the two supernovas was published in the science journal, Nature.