Former OKC postdoc, Giorgos Leloudas, along with OKC co-investigators suggests a new interpretation for an event which was previously classified as the most luminous supernova ever seen. They argue that the event is a star being ripped apart by the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.
The discovery of the accelerated universe keeps receiving a well deserved attention. On November 9, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced the recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
It is the Knut och Alice Wallenbergs foundation that grants a 5-year long project for finding and studying supernovae. The OKC are already since the beginning of this year members of the intermediate Palomar
Transient Factory (iPTF) – a supernova search aimed at finding supernovae soon after explosion. This is a pathfinder for the next generation of this project – the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). The 30 million grant from KAW will now enable OKC astronomers and physicists to play a leading role in that project.
A bright supernova appeared in the fairly “nearby” (24 million light years) Whirlpool galaxy (M51) in late August 2011. It was named Supernova 2011dh. Images taken using the Hubble Space Telescope of the galaxy before the explosion showed a star at the position of the supernova, but astronomers argued whether this was indeed the star that exploded. Now we know!
In February this year the iPTF (intermediate Palomar Transient Factory) program was started.
This is a survey searching for optical transients using a robotic 1.2 meter telescope in California, and the Oskar Klein Centre is one of the participating institutes for the next 2 years. The aim is to discover transients – in particular supernovae – at an earlier stage than hitherto possible, hopefully within hours after the explosion. The concrete scientific question we want to address is the nature of the progenitor systems of supernovae, and this requires very early observations of these explosions, before the memory of the initial configuration gets lost.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Science announced today the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011, something that made us at the Oskar Klein Centre very proud indeed. The Prize goes to the two teams who discovered the present acceleration of the universe using supernovae as standard candles: the Supernovae Cosmology Project, in the person of Saul Perlmutter, and The High-z Supernova Search Team in the persons of Adam G. Riess and Brian P. Schmidt.