The image, designated as JVAR21a and registered by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as AT 2021aggv, was taken on December 12, 2021 within the J-VAR project, which aims to detect and characterize changing objects and phenomena in the universe. , the Aragon Authority reports in a press release.
Supernovae are very rare and difficult to detect phenomena that occur at the end of the life of stars with masses more than ten times the mass of the Sun, or during a certain stage in the evolution of two companion star systems, as the case of the JVAR21a project seems to be.
They are so violent and energetic phenomena that, at times, their brightness becomes as intense as the brightness of the galaxy in which they occur, although they remain visible only for a few weeks, and in the best cases, for a year. Experts explain.
In galaxies like the Milky Way, the frequency of these phenomena is only 3 supernovae every 100 years, so constantly mapping the sky to monitor the brightness of thousands of galaxies is the “key” to detecting these events.
For his discovery, different regions of the sky that were previously marked by Project J-PLUS, the master mapping of the JAST80 telescope, have already been observed over and over – and up to 11 different times -.
Comparing these repeated images makes it possible to discover differences caused by different physical processes that vary over time, such as supernovae, among others.
The J-VAR project, based on data from the Javalamber observatory, made it possible to detect several supernovae, as happened in December 2020 when the discovery of JVAR20a was reported.
J-VAR is one of the surveys conducted during the 20 percent of open observation time that Teruel Observatory provides to the international community due to its status as an Individual Science Technical Infrastructure (ICTS).
Also participating in the project are researchers from the Institute of Physics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IF-UFRJ).
On December 13, in the process of reviewing and validating Project J-VAR images taken the night before, scientists from the Aragon Center found a new source of light in the ring galaxy IIHz4 captured in images from earlier times, J-PLUS, and neither J- VAR, nor other projects implemented from other observatories, where it was determined that the object responded to a supernova explosion in the said galaxy.
This discovery was reported on the official page of the International Astronomical Union dedicated to the notification of this type of discovery, the Transit Name Server (TNS), a day later, after appropriate examinations and analyzes had been carried out. The supernova, identified internally by the scientific team as JVAR21a, has been registered by the International Astronomical Union as AT 2021aggv.
Since its discovery, the JAST80 telescope has followed the evolution of the brightness of JVAR21a using various optical filters that have made it possible to obtain light curves from which the increase and decrease in brightness can be seen over the course of weeks and is the only observations available for being able to classify this source, which will no longer be visible .