Type Ia supernovae happen when a white dwarf, the “corpse” of a star similar to the Sun, absorbs material from a twin star until it reaches a critical mass--1.4 times that of the Sun—and explodes. Because of their origin, all these explosions share a very similar luminosity. This uniformity made type Ia supernovae ideal objects to measure distances in the universe, but the study of supernova 2014J suggests a scenario that would invalidate them as “standard candles".
"Type Ia supernovae are considered standard candles because their constitution is very homogeneous and practically all of them reach the same maximum luminosity. They even allowed us to discover that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. However, we still don’t know what stellar systems give rise to this type of supernovae,” says Miguel Ángel Pérez Torres, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) in charge of the study.
SN 2014J, A SUPERNOVA VERY NEAR BY
ReferenceM. A. Perez-Torres, P. Lundqvist, R. J. Beswick, C. I. Bjornsson, T. W. B. Muxlow, Z. Paragi, S. Ryder, A. Alberdi, C. Fransson, J. M. Marcaide, I. Marti-Vidal, E. Ros, M. K. Argo, J. C. Guirado. Constraints on the progenitor system and the environs of SN 2014J from deep radio observations. The Astrophysical Journal. ApJ, vol. 792, pág. 38.
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