- On a deep, dark evening last June in the spectacularly celestial deserts of northern Chile, scientists made a phenomenal discovery.
- It was a supernova… one that they named ASASSN-15lh.
- This wasn’t just any supernova. It was the BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST supernova ever recorded.
- Supernovas are exploding stars whose ejected mass and energy can create a light show so brilliant that they can sometimes be seen with the naked eye in our own night sky.
- At its most luminous, ASASSN-15lh was over 500 BILLION times brighter than our own sun, and FAR greater than the previous record holder.
- This is so bright that, according to one of the lead researchers, if it had been located within our own galaxy there would have been no darkness on earth for weeks.
- Fortunately for us, ASASSN-15lh was from a galaxy far, far away– 3.8 BILLION light years away. So its intensity didn’t have much of an effect on Planet Earth.