Release Images

Release No.: 2017-24
For Release: Monday, July 31, 2017 - 10:00am

Astronomers Discover "Heavy Metal" Supernova Rocking Out

Illustration of SN 2017egm

This artist’s impression of SN 2017egm shows the power source for this extraordinarily bright supernova. The explosion was triggered by a massive star that collapsed to form a neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field and rapid spin, called a magnetar. Debris from the supernova explosion is shown in blue and the magnetar is shown in red.

M. Weiss/CfA

Optical image of SN 2017egm and its host galaxy

This optical image from the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) shows the metal-rich spiral galaxy NGC 3191, the host of the closest superluminous supernova to the Earth discovered to date, SN 2017egm. The supernova is visualized by adding a simulated source that matches the measured position, blue color and intensity of this intense cataclysmic event.

Pan-STARRS/CfA/M. Nicholl et al.