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AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT NEVER OBSERVED BEFORE – The death of a super massive star is a cataclysmic event among the most energetic in the Universe which ends with the formation of a Supernova and the ejection into space of immense quantities of chemical elements, especially heavy elements such as gold, platinum and silver. We usually observe these celestial objects without knowing their previous evolution, being able only to hypothesize how it happened. Recently, however, a team of astronomers led by Northwestern University and the University of California at Berkeley succeeded for the first time to follow in real time the last months of a life red supergiant, observing its rapid self-destruction before it collapsed into one type II supernova. the star in question was detected in the summer of 2020 during a survey by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS telescope on the summit of Haleakalā volcano in Maui. It was immediately noticed that its brightness increased day by day as the star emitted large quantities of gas into space, which is why the celestial body became a special guard.
His agony lasted 130 days at the end of which a powerful lightning that for a few moments it was brighter than all the other stars in the galaxy of which it was a part. It is a discovery that challenges previous ideas how red supergiants evolve just before they explode, the researchers explain. Previous observations showed that red supergiants were relatively quiescent before their death, with no evidence of violent ejections or light emissions. The new observations, the researchers add, say the opposite: at least some of these stars undergo significant changes in their internal structure, which then translate into tumultuous expulsion of gas moments before their collapse. The team continued to monitor Sn 2020tlf even after the explosion of the star. Based on the data obtained from the Deimos and Nires spectrographers of the Keck Observatory, the researchers thus determined that the red supergiant star progenitor of Sn 2020tlf was a star ten times more massive than the sun located approx 120 million light years from Earth in the galaxy Ngc 5731. 120 million light years, it means that the event we observed today, took place 120 million years ago when there were still Dinosaurs on Earth and Italy had not yet formed .. .