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Brightest-ever cosmic explosion

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: BBC

 Context: A significant astronomical discovery regarding the brightest burst of light ever recorded, occurred in 2022.

Researchers found that the burst originated from an exploding star, known as a supernova, located in a distant galaxy. However, the intensity of the burst surpassed expectations, leading to questions about its cause and implications. The burst’s extraordinary brightness, labelled as the “Brightest Of All Time” (B.O.A.T.), puzzled astronomers.

 

 

What are Supernovas?

They are massive stellar explosions that occur at the end of a star’s life cycle. They produce and eject vast amounts of energy and material into space. These explosions are responsible for creating and dispersing heavy elements such as gold, platinum, lead, and uranium into the universe.

While supernovas are known to produce heavy elements like gold, the researchers found no evidence of such elements in this particular explosion. This discovery challenges existing theories about the origin of heavy elements in the universe and raises doubts about the role of supernovas in their production.