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Astronomers Have Spotted The Most Powerful Supernova Blast Ever Seen

Astronomers have detected the most powerful stellar explosion ever seen — twice as powerful as anything before recorded –in a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years away. The supernova titled ASASSN-151h is nearly 570 billion times perkier than our Sun, and 20 times brighter than all the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy pooled. It is nearly 200 times as powerful as maximum supernovae. The enormous blast was reported in the journal Science. Dr Benjamin Shappee of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, as one of the study's authors told reporters "It's an extreme example — it's so extreme that it's really unclear what's actually causing the supernova — if that's what it is”
An artist's illustration of the super-luminous supernova ASASSN-15lh as seen from an exoplanet situated about 10,000 light-years from the explosion. Image Credit: Beijing Planetarium/Jin Ma

Maximum super-glowing supernovae occur in small, eventful star-forming galaxies. Though, ASASSN-15lh detonated in a large and rather quiet galaxy. Dr Benjamin Shappee said "This was so exciting and so far outside what's expected, I was a little skeptical until we got the follow-up data. Then when we saw it on two different telescopes and confirmed the data I started to get extremely excited." The supernova was spotted in June using the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae system (ASASSN).

Pseudo-colour pictures screening the host galaxy before the detonation of ASASSN-15lh (Left), and the supernova (Right). Image Credit: The Dark Energy Survey/B. Shappee/ASAS-SN team

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