The supernova of 1987 changed the course of many people’s lives. Amateur astronomers such as Arto Oksanen and Sjur Refsdal became celebrities. Several of them have continued to work to find the remnant of this exploding star, and Kirshner is now working to detect infrared radiation emitted by the remnant.
Arto Oksanen is a celebrity in the world of amateur astronomy
Arto Oksanen is an IT professional from Finland who is a celebrity in the amateur astronomy community. He chairs a club of amateur astronomers that operates an automated telescope and a 40-centimetre reflector telescope. Initially, astronomers thought the bright spot was unremarkable and did not take notice of it until almost a year later.
Sjur Refsdal predicted that astronomers would spot such a supernova
The Norwegian astronomer Sjur Refsdal predicted that scientists would be able to spot a supernova during the next few years. This astronomical event is unique in that it is much larger than the scale of our solar system and offers an opportunity to test theories about the universe. The explosion occurred about 10 billion years ago and the light from the exploded star has taken about 5 billion years to reach Earth.
The supernova, named SN Refsdal, was discovered Nov. 11, 2014. It is 9.3 billion light-years from Earth. The astronomers named it after Refsdal, a Norwegian astrophysicist who pioneered gravitational lensing studies. This phenomenon causes the supernova to appear 20 times brighter than normal. The discovery was made possible by the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223, which created a powerful gravitational lensing effect.
Developing precise dark-matter maps of massive galaxy clusters
The DES method is a promising new way to measure the dark matter properties in galaxy clusters, and it can complement and compete with the data from the cosmic microwave background radiation. The DES method is being tested with the help of experiments conducted on Earth. It is being used to measure supernovae distances, and the results have been compared to theoretical models.
This method relies on the population of massive galaxy clusters in the cosmological field. This population is studied to constrain the dark energy equation of state and cosmic structure. By examining the population of these galaxy clusters, astronomers can develop more precise dark-matter maps of the universe’s supernovae.
Detecting subtle ripples in the fabric of spacetime
Scientists are working to detect the subtle ripples in spacetime caused by gravitational waves coming from supermassive black holes. These waves have long wavelengths and can take years to pass by a stationary detector. To detect these waves, a large array of pulsars will be used.
The University of Glasgow played an important role in this global collaboration and contributed to the development of detectors. They also helped with advanced data analysis. Gravitational waves are produced when celestial bodies collide, and their energy is carried to Earth through spacetime ripples.
Detecting gravitational waves is possible now thanks to a new technique called LIGO. Since 2002, LIGO has been searching for gravitational waves. But it took decades to confirm their existence. Many believed they would be too weak to detect. However, a recent breakthrough in the detection of gravitational waves has proven that they are real and are happening.
Spotting lensed supernovas
Lensed supernovae are not visible to the naked eye, but they can be used to measure distances. However, astronomers must collect 100 of these supernovae to get an accurate measurement. With the help of a large telescope, this task could become easier.
The Hubble Space Telescope is an excellent tool for astronomers to spot these distant supernovaes. These astronomical objects are often bright, and the Hubble is able to gather multiple images of them. The Hubble image shows a lensed galaxy five billion light-years away, which is a galaxy cluster. The cluster acts as a lens for the dying star’s light.
Astronomers can spot lensed supernovas with a variety of telescopes. One instrument that can detect lensing supernovae is the Keck Observatory, which uses laser-guided adaptive optics to study the sky in near-infrared wavelengths. The Keck Observatory used this instrument to gather information on iPTF16geu. Other instruments used in this research include the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile.