A Gravitationally-Lensed Type 1a Supernova: Multiple Images and Highly Magnified

What does a gravitationally-lensed supernova look like? Turns out there can be many of them as the light is split into multiple images. A gravitational lens is created by a very massive object in space, causing the space to be warped or curved aroun

2387 Views | Published on 12th May, 2017

What does a gravitationally-lensed supernova look like? Turns out there can be many of them as the light is split into multiple images.

A gravitational lens is created by a very massive object in space, causing the space to be warped or curved around it. These objects are very useful to astronomers because in many cases, the lens produces magnified images of more distant objects, far out in the universe. Recently a type Ia supernova, iPTF16geu (SN 2016geu) was found as a multiple lensed object. This happens when the direction towards the lens and the object of interest are very close. For the supernova, the alignment is so close that several images are produced and magnified more than 50 times by the curvature of space by the intervening galaxy. The new discovery offers exciting ways to study gravity, the distribution of matter in the lensing galaxy, and a possible way to refine estimates of the expansion of the universe.

Join regular hosts Tony Darnell and Carol Christian on Thursday, 11 May, at 3:00 pm ET as they chat with Ariel Goobar (Stockholm University), Peter Nugent (University of California, Berkeley), and Mansi Kasliwal (California Institute of Technology) about this interesting object, how it was found, and what studies are being done to reveal its nature.

Here's a link to the paper:
http://www.spacetelescope.org/static/archives/releases/science_papers/heic1710/heic1710a.pdf