SN 2005ap: Brightest Supernova Yet Discovered (Fact of the Day)

Identification of Supernova 2005ap
SN 2005ap is by far the brightest supernova ever recorded. This was discovered on March 3, 2005. Until October 2007, SN 2006gy was considered to be the brightest supernova even though SN 2006gy was discovered a year later. It is now discovered that SN 2005ap was twice as bright as SN 2006gy.

SN 2005ap is a Type II supernova which occurs when the core of a massive star collapses under its own weight and explodes. The other type of supernova is when a white dwarf collapses and explodes, which is the Type I supernova.

SN 2005ap occurred about 4.7 billion light years away from Earth, so it was not visible to naked eye. It also means that this happened before the birth of Earth as Earth is just 4.54 billion years old. Just to give a comparison of how bright the supernova was, it was estimated to be 100 billion times brighter than our Sun.




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