A Vanished Supernova Will Reappear in 16 Years

A Vanished Supernova Will Reappear Around 2037

“Understanding the structure of the universe is going to be a top priority for the main Earth-based observatories and international space organizations over the next decade,” said Gabriel Brammer, a co-author of the paper and an astrophysicist at the Cosmic Dawn Center, in a University of Copenhagen press release. “Studies planned for the future will cover much of the sky and are expected to reveal dozens or even hundreds of rare gravitational lenses with supernovae like SN Requiem. Accurate measurements of delays from such sources provide unique and reliable determinations of cosmic expansion and can even help reveal the properties of dark matter and dark energy.”


The upcoming Roman Space Telescope is being launched for this exact purpose: to investigate dark energy by measuring the distance and movement of supernovae that occur from the explosions of white dwarfs, which is what the recent research team suspects Requiem is. The Roman telescope is essentially using these supernovae’s brightnesses to probe the variability of the Hubble Constant and sniff out what’s causing the numbers to fluctuate.

Interestingly, Brammer told Gizmodo that it’s theoretically possible that, by looking at the spot where they expect to see the next flash of light arrive around 2037, scientists could actually see the white dwarf in its pre-supernova state. “We could, in principle, observe that faint little star today,” Brammer said, “though I estimate within a few orders of magnitude that it would take a telescope a trillion times larger than Hubblea diameter of 2,000 kilometers—to do this.” That doesn’t sound too practical, but hey, an astrophysicist can dream.


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