The brightest recorded supernova in history

Scientists at Birmingham University in the UK have recorded the brightest supernova in history, as reported in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Astronomers believe that a supernova SN2016aps may be the model of pulsating pair-instability supernova, which is an extremely rare event. Its predecessor could be a massive star, which, in turn, resulted from the merger of two other major stars. So far, this phenomenon existed only in theory and has never been observed.

In a typical supernova radiation is less than one percent of the total energy of the explosion. However, SN2016aps the energy of one just radiation five times above the total amount of energy normally released in such cases. Record a bright flash appeared in the interaction of a supernova with a massive gas shell ejected by the star before the explosion. According to calculations, the mass of the star was 50-100 times greater than the mass of the Sun, although in most cases the stars that flashed like a supernova, only 8-15 times more massive than the Sun.

Pair-instability supernovae occur when gamma rays inside the star begins to produce electron-positron pairs. Shining collapses, however, the energy released turns this process around, and an explosion occurs, which destroys even the kernel.