June 2016 – SPACE – Astronomers are not entirely sure what it is. If, as they suspect, the gas ball is the result of a supernova, then it’s the most powerful supernova ever seen. In June of 2015, astronomers viewed a ball of hot gas billions of light years away that is radiating the energy of hundreds of billions of suns. Even in a discipline that regularly uses gigantic numbers to express size or distance, the case of this small but powerful mystery object in the center of the gas ball is extreme. At its heart is an object a little larger than 10 miles across. ASAS-SN-15lh, as the object is known, was twice as luminous as any previously seen, far brighter than any normal supernova, and outshone our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times.
The artist’s impression below shows what it would look like from an exoplanet 10,000…
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