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Published:April 8th, 2013 11:57 EST

Hubble Telescope Discovers Record-Breaking Supernova

By John Pustelnik

NASA`s Hubble Telescope has discovered a supernova that exploded over 10 billion years ago.

The discovery of this supernova has broken the record of the farthest supernova found to date.


The supernova is nicknamed SN Wilson, after the 28th president of the United States. It is classified as a type Ia supernova, which are useful to astronomers due to their reliability to measure the expansion of the universe.

"This new distance record holder opens a window into the early universe, offering important new insights into how these stars explode," said David Jones of Johns Hopkins University, lead author of the study. "We can test theories about how reliable these detonations are for understanding the evolution of the universe and its expansion."

This type Ia supernova will also give astronomers more insight into dark energy, which is thought to be one of the forces behind the rapid expansion of the universe.

The discovery of this supernova can be used to test theories on how supernovae exploded in the earliest days of the universe compared to how they explode today.

"The Type Ia supernovae give us the most precise yardstick ever built, but we`re not quite sure if it always measures exactly a yard," said team member Steve Rodney of Johns Hopkins University. "The more we understand these supernovae, the more precise our cosmic yardstick will become."

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