U.S. astronomers discover new type of supernova1 min read

U. S. astronomers have discovered a new type of supernova that does not fit in the already known two types.

Previously discovered supernovas are classified under two categories: core-collapse and Type la. While a core-collapse supernova is the explosion of a star around 10 to 100 times as huge as our Sun, a Type Ia supernova is the complete explosion of a tiny white dwarf.


The newly discovered supernova has been called Type Iax. It is fainter and less egergetic explosion that the Type Ia. While a Type Ia supernova fully destroys its tiny white dwarf, the Type Iax may not fully destroy its white dwarf star.

Lead author Royan Foley, of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said that a Type Iax supernova is fundamentally a mini supernova.

The Type Iax supernova discovered didn’t occur in elliptical galaxies that are filled with old stars, providing a strong hint that these types of supernovae are found only in young star-systems.

Mark Phillips, one of the scientists involved in the study, said, “The closer we look, the more ways we find for stars to explode.”

Astronomers have so far catalogued more than 300 supernova remnants in Milky Way galaxy, where supernovas have been found occurring only once or twice in a century.

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Source: French Tribune

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Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

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