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NASA's Kepler captures shockwave of an exploding star for the first time

Scientists Call It The ‘shock Breakout’ Which Has Been Captured For The First Time In Visible Light. A Science Team Led By Peter Garnavich, An Astrophysics Professor In Indiana Analysed Light Captured By Kepler Every 30 Minutes Over A Period Of Three Years, Searching 50 Trillion Stars. This Hunting Was For Signs Of Massive Stellar Death Explosions Known As Supernovae.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 22 Mar 2016, 11:05:54 PM

New Delhi :

The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave has been captured for the first time by NASA’s planet hunter- Kepler Space telescope. Though it lasted only for 20 minutes but the space agency managed to capture the breathtaking sight of the star exploding.

Scientists call it the ‘shock breakout’ which has been captured for the first time in visible light. A science team led by Peter Garnavich, an astrophysics professor in Indiana analysed light captured by Kepler every 30 minutes over a period of three years, searching 50 trillion stars. This hunting was for signs of massive stellar death explosions known as supernovae.

Supernovae like these -- known as Type II -- begin when the internal furnace of a star runs out of nuclear fuel, causing its core to collapse as gravity takes over.

When does it occur?

A supernova occurs when a massive star’s life comes to an end. A catastrophic explosion erupts, causing the star to burn brighter than other galaxies before fading to black.

According to Peter Garnavich, astrophysicist, the star is so colossal that "Earth's orbit around the sun would fit comfortably within it.

It is believed that life exists because of supernovae because these supernovae do have a tangible effect on our solar system. For example, all the silver, nickel and copper in the Earth and even in our bodies came from the explosive death throes of stars.

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First Published : 22 Mar 2016, 04:18:00 PM