London: A new study has helped astronomers to solve the mysteries related to the spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away, seen earlier in 2014.
The supernova, a giant explosion of a star and the closest one to the Earth in decades, was discovered earlier this year by chance at the University of London Observatory. The study used vast networks of radio telescopes in the UK and across Europe including the seven telescopes of e-MERLIN operated from The University of Manchester`s Jodrell Bank Observatory. These enabled them to obtain extremely deep images revealing a lack of radio emission from the supernova.
Known as 2014J, this was a Type la supernova caused by the explosion of a white dwarf star, the inner core of star once it has run out of nuclear fuel and ejected its outer layers.
Miguel Perez-Torres, researcher of the Spanish National Research Council said that Supernovae play a fundamental role in the chemistry of galaxies and their evolution, as they are responsible for ejecting most of the heavy elements seen around, including elements that cannot be formed in the interior of normal stars.
Rob Beswick, from the University of Manchester`s Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics said that the explosion of a Type Ia supernova was a rare event in the nearby Universe and Supernova 2014J was the closest Type Ia supernova to Earth since 1986, and it`s likely that more than a hundred years would pass until people see another such supernova so closely.
The study is published in the Astrophysical Journal.