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Researchers Discover a Third Major Type of Supernova – the “Goldilocks Supernova”

Posted by Guy Pirro 06/29/2021 04:09PM

Researchers Discover a Third Major Type of Supernova – the “Goldilocks Supernova”

Historically, supernovae have fallen into two main types: thermonuclear and iron-core collapse. A thermonuclear supernova is the explosion of a white dwarf star after it gains matter in a binary star system. An iron core-collapse supernova occurs when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and its iron core collapses, creating a black hole or neutron star. A worldwide team led by University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers at Las Cumbres Observatory has discovered the first convincing evidence for a new type of stellar explosion — an Electron-Capture Supernova, or a “Goldilocks Supernova,” which falls between the two major types. While this new type of supernova has been theorized for 40 years, real-world examples have been elusive until now. The discovery also sheds new light on the thousand-year mystery of the supernova from A.D. 1054 that was visible all over the world in the daytime. This supernova in 1054 eventually became what we observe today as the Crab Nebula (NGC 1952 or M1).


According to this recent article on CNN, "Amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki in Japan observed supernova 2018zd in March 2018, spurring astronomers to use telescopes to study it about three hours after it occurred. "
It seems your article as well as the staff at Las Cumbres Observatory should give credit where credit is due...

Kudos to Koichi Itagaki in Japan for being the first to observe supernova 2018zd in March of 2018.