Thursday, January 10, 2013

Most Distant 'Standard Candle' Star Explosion Found

Astronomers have discovered the most distant supernova of its kind, an ancient and massive star explosion that could shed light on some of the universe's biggest mysteries.

The supernova, known as SN SCP-0401, is 10 billion light-years from Earth, meaning it exploded just 3.7 billion years after the Big Bang that created our universe. The discovery team says SN SCP-0401 is the most far-flung well-characterized Type 1a supernova, which astronomers use as "standard candles" to study the universe's accelerating expansion and the mysterious dark energy that seems to be driving it.
"This is the most distant supernova anyone has ever found for doing dependable cosmology," David Rubin, of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement.

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