A flame that burns twice as brightly burns half as long. So when a distant star shines five billion times brighter than our sun, you know that this world will not be long in coming. NASA̵
Supernovas are dying stars that, upon reaching critical mass, get hot enough to ignite a sustained thermonuclear process – similar to an atom bomb or a pierced lithium-ion battery. The SN 2018gv supernova began as a white dwarf and accelerated towards critical mass as it accumulated material from a companion star.
Interestingly, the Supernova SN 2018gv didn’t break any brightness records. This is because supernova of this type always peak at the same brightness before they fall apart. Astronomers can even calculate the distance between cosmic bodies by comparing the “observable” brightness of a supernova with its actual standard brightness. A decent party trick if you ask me.
NASA’s SN 2018gv time-lapse is available on YouTube but only lasts 30 seconds. Now that the SN 2018gv supernova is no longer … “awesome,” astronomers can keep watching the region to study how supernovae turn into fog (the clouds of dust left behind by a massive cosmic explosion).