Science Reporting

1800 new supernovae discovered

If until a few years ago supernovae could be considered rare and difficult to detect events, today things have changed thanks to the technological advances of modern ground telescopes that make it possible to avoid the use of expensive space telescopes, not always available to all research groups.

An example is the case of a group of Japanese researchers from various universities and institutions who used the Hyper Suprime-Cam, an 870-megapixel digital camera fixed on top of the Subaru telescope. With this camera, they have been able to shoot a large area of the night sky repeatedly for a period of six months and have been able to identify many new supernovae (1800 in total) of which 58 were of type Ia placed more than 8 billion light-years away from us (out of a total of 400 type Ia supernovae discovered).

To understand the efficiency behind this research, it is enough to say that to discover a total of 50 supernovae located more than 8 billion light-years away from Earth, previous researchers had to use the same telescope for 10 years. Supernovae classified as type Ia are very useful in astronomy because they allow you to calculate more efficiently how far they are from Earth and in general, can also help to measure the expansion of the universe.

According to Naoki Yasuda, professor of physics and mathematics of the universe at Kavli and one of the authors of the research, “The Subaru telescope and the Hyper Suprime-Cam have already helped researchers to create a 3D map of dark matter and for the observation of primordial black holes, but now this result shows that this instrument has a very high capacity to find even supernovae far from Earth.”