SN Refsdal

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SN Refsdal
The past, present and future appearances of the Refsdal supernova.jpg
SN Refsdal (inset picture) and galaxy cluster MACS J1149.6+2223.
Event typeSupernova Edit this on Wikidata
Date11 November 2014
Patrick Kelly (GLASS)
Right ascension11h 49m 35.45s[1]
Declination22° 23′ 44.84″[1]
Notable featuresFirst multiply-lensed supernova
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SN Refsdal is the first detected multiply-lensed supernova, visible within the field of the galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223. It was given its nickname in honor of the Norwegian astrophysicist Sjur Refsdal, who, in 1964, first proposed using time-delayed images from a lensed supernova to study the expansion of the universe.[1][2][3] The observations were made using the Hubble Space Telescope.[4]

Einstein cross[edit]

The host galaxy of SN Refsdal is at a redshift of 1.49, corresponding to a comoving distance of 14.4 billion light-years and a lookback time of 9.34 billion years.[5] The multiple images are arranged around the elliptical galaxy at z = 0.54 in a cross-shaped pattern, also known as an "Einstein cross".[1]


The image to the left shows a part of the deep field observation of the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 from the Frontier Fields programme. The circle indicates the predicted position of the newest appearance of the supernova. To the lower right the Einstein cross event from late 2014 is visible. The image on the top right shows observations by Hubble from October 2015, taken at the beginning of the observation programme to detect the newest appearance of the supernova. The image on the lower right shows the discovery of the Refsdal Supernova on 11 December 2015, as predicted by several different models.

After the discovery of the Refsdal Supernova, astronomers predicted that they would have the rare opportunity to see the supernova again in about one year, after the four images had faded away. This is because the initially observed four-image pattern was only one component of the lensing display. The supernova may have appeared as a single image some 40–50 years ago elsewhere in the cluster field.[1]

The supernova Refsdal reappeared punctually at the predicted position between mid-November 2015 and December 11, 2015[6] (with the exact date being uncertain by approximately one month which is the interval between two consecutive Hubble observations),[7] in excellent agreement with the blind model predictions made before the reappearance was observed.[8][9][10] The time delay between the original quadruplet observed in 2014 and the latest appearance of the supernova in 2015 was used to infer the value of the Hubble constant. This is the first time this technique, originally suggested by Refsdal, has been applied to supernovae.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kelly, P. L.; Rodney, S. A.; Treu, T.; Foley, R. J.; Brammer, G.; Schmidt, K. B.; Zitrin, A.; Sonnenfeld, A.; Strolger, L. -G.; Graur, O.; Filippenko, A. V.; Jha, S. W.; Riess, A. G.; Bradac, M.; Weiner, B. J.; Scolnic, D.; Malkan, M. A.; von Der Linden, A.; Trenti, M.; Hjorth, J.; Gavazzi, R.; Fontana, A.; Merten, J. C.; McCully, C.; Jones, T.; Postman, M.; Dressler, A.; Patel, B.; Cenko, S. B.; et al. (2015). "Multiple images of a highly magnified supernova formed by an early-type cluster galaxy lens". Science. 347 (6226): 1123–1126. arXiv:1411.6009. Bibcode:2015Sci...347.1123K. doi:10.1126/science.aaa3350. PMID 25745167. S2CID 206633888.
  2. ^ Overbye, Dennis (March 5, 2015). "Astronomers Observe Supernova and Find They're Watching Reruns". New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Amina Khan (5 March 2015). "Don't believe the light: Supernova in 'Einstein Cross' is a cosmic trick". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Sharon, K.; Johnson, T. L. (2015). "Revised Lens Model for the Multiply Imaged Lensed Supernova, "Sn Refsdal" in Macs J1149+2223". The Astrophysical Journal. 800 (2): L26. arXiv:1411.6933. Bibcode:2015ApJ...800L..26S. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/800/2/L26. S2CID 118735742.
  5. ^ "Cosmological redshift z=1.49". Wolfram Alpha. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Caught in the act - Hubble captures first-ever predicted exploding star". Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  7. ^ "Detection of a SN near the center of the galaxy cluster field MACS1149 consistent with predictions of a new image of Supernova Refsdal". Patrick Kelly. The Astronomer's Telegram. 13 Dec 2015.
  8. ^ Oguri, Masamune (2015). "Predicted Properties of Multiple Images of the Strongly Lensed Supernova SN Refsdal". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 449 (1): L86–L89. arXiv:1411.6443. Bibcode:2015MNRAS.449L..86O. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slv025. S2CID 118389176.
  9. ^ Diego, J.M; Broadhurst, T.; Chen, C.; Lim, J.; Zitrin, A.; Chan, B.; Coe7, D.; Ford, H. C.; Lam, D.; Zheng, W. (2016). "A Free-Form Prediction for the Reappearance of Supernova Refsdal in the Hubble Frontier Fields Cluster MACSJ1149.5+2223". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 456 (1): 356–365. arXiv:1504.05953. Bibcode:2016MNRAS.456..356D. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2638. S2CID 32212490.
  10. ^ Treu, T; et al. (2016). "Refsdal meets Popper: comparing predictions of the re-appearance of the multiply imaged supernova behind MACS1149.5+2223". The Astrophysical Journal. 817 (1): 60. arXiv:1510.05750. Bibcode:2016ApJ...817...60T. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/817/1/60. S2CID 36631665.
  11. ^ Vega-Ferrero, J.; Diego, J.M; Miranda, V.; Bernstein, G. (2018). "The Hubble Constant from SN Refsdal". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 853 (1): 31–36. arXiv:1712.05800. Bibcode:2018ApJ...853...31O. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aaa95f. S2CID 55840221.

External links[edit]