- Published: Tuesday, September 13 2011 15:25
Dr. Peter Nugent from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and his team discovered a new Type-Ia supernova appearing in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101). Discovering a supernova is not uncommon, however; what made Dr. Nugent's discovery extraordinary is that he discovered it unprecedentedly early; roughly 10 hours into its weeks-long light curve. This gave astronomers an opportunity to make extremely precise measurements, and to collect data on the entire light curve. Such measurements will illuminate the nature of these amazing events, and could contribute to our understanding of dark energy.
On September 13, the Physics Department hosted Dr. Nugent as he gave a public lecture about the exciting astronomical event. The lecture included a live feed of the supernova from the University of Maryland's Observatory. Additionally, following the lecture, they provided a viewing opportunity on the roof of Regents Drive Garage.