UCI News

Giant supernovae farthest ever detected

UC Irvine cosmologists have found two supernovae farther away than any previously detected by using a new technique that could…

July 8, 2009

UC Irvine cosmologists have found two supernovae farther away than any previously detected by using a new technique that could help find other dying stars at the edge of the universe. This method has the potential to allow astronomers to study some of the very first supernovae and will advance the understanding of how galaxies form, how they change over time and how Earth came to be. “When stars explode, they spew matter into space. Eventually, gravity collapses the matter into a new star, which could have planets such as Earth around it,” says Jeff Cooke, McCue Postdoctoral Fellow in physics & astronomy, who reports his findings July 9 in the journal Nature. The supernovae Cooke and colleagues found occurred 11 billion years ago. The next-farthest large supernova known occurred about 6 billion years ago.