Although there are stars that end up as a white dwarf when it dies, other stars go supernova. NASA has recently published an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, featuring a galaxy that once saw a gigantic supernova explosion.
Galaxy NGC 2442, also known as ‘The Meathook Galaxy’ because of its odd appearance, once hosted a supernova explosion in 2015 that took place in one of its arms. The Meathook Galaxy is located in the southern constellation of Volans, which is found 50 million light-years away from Earth. NGC 2442 also measures 75,000 light-years in diameter, and its peculiar shape is the result of the galaxy colliding with another, smaller galaxy.
The explosion that took place in 2015, called ‘supernova 2015F,’ was so bright that it could be seen on a telescope. In spite of only being found five years ago, the explosion occurred millions of years earlier, during the age of the dinosaurs. Astronomers believe the supernova was a Type Ia blast, which is coming from a white dwarf feeding on stellar matter.
“The white dwarf was part of a binary star system and siphoned mass from its companion, eventually becoming too greedy and taking on more than it could handle. This unbalanced the star and triggered runaway nuclear fusion that eventually led to an intensely violent supernova explosion. The supernova shone brightly for quite some time and was easily visible from Earth through even small telescopes months later,” the European Space Agency (ESA) states.
Now, the supernova has eclipsed significantly and could only be seen with a powerful telescope.
In the meantime, space enthusiasts should know that Mars become more and more visible from Earth, as, in the following weeks and months, the Red Planet would become brighter in the sky.
This happens because the two planets are moving closer to each other, with their closest distance on October 6th, which is also the first time Mars and Earth were this close in two years.