Release Images

Release No.: 2011-04
For Release: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 4:00am

The Best Way to Measure Dark Energy Just Got Better

Type Ia supernova

A Type Ia supernova occurs when a white dwarf accretes material from a companion star until it exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit and explodes. By studying these exploding stars, astronomers can measure dark energy and the expansion of the universe. CfA scientists have found a way to correct for small variations in the appearance of these supernovae, so that they become even better standard candles. The key is to sort the supernovae based on their color.

NASA/CXC/M. Weiss