SN 2016aps


Event typeSupernova
Type II?[1]
Right ascension10h 19m 02.17s[1]
Declination+74° 42′ 24.6″[1]

SN 2016aps (also known as PS16aqy and AT2016aps) is the brightest (as of April 2020) supernova explosion ever recorded. In addition to the sheer amount of energy released, an unusually large amount of the energy was released in the form of radiation, probably due to the interaction of the supernova ejecta and a previously lost gas shell.[2]


The event was discovered on 22 February 2016 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) in Hawaii,[3] with follow-up observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. The supernova occurred at a high z-value indicating a distance of 3.6 billion light-years.[4] and is located in the constellation Draco.[5] The maximum apparent magnitude was 18.11, the corresponding absolute magnitude -22.35.[6]

The progenitor star is estimated to have had at least 50 to 100 solar masses. The spectrum of SN 2016aps revealed significant amounts of hydrogen, which is unexpected for supernovae of this type, which usually occur after nuclear fusion has consumed most of the star's hydrogen and the stars have shed the remaining hydrogen atmosphere. This led researchers to the theory that the progenitor star formed only shortly before the event from the merger of two very large stars, creating a "pulsational pair instability" supernova or possibly a full pair instability supernova.[7][4][8]

External links

  • SN 2016aps entry in the Open Supernova Catalog


  1. ^ a b c Chornock, R.; et al. (March 2016). "Spectroscopic classification of two superluminous supernovae". The Astronomer's Telegram. 8790. Bibcode:2016ATel.8790....1C.
  2. ^ Nicholl, Matt; Blanchard, Peter K.; Berger, Edo; Chornock, Ryan; Margutti, Raffaella; Gomez, Sebastian; Lunnan, Ragnild; Miller, Adam A.; Fong, Wen-fai; Vigna-Gómez, Alejandro; Bhirombhakdi, Kornpob; Bieryla, Allyson; Challis, Pete; Laher, Russ R.; Masci, Frank J.; Paterson, Kerry (13 April 2020). "An extremely energetic supernova from a very massive star in a dense medium". Nature Astronomy. 4 (9): 893–899. arXiv:2004.05840. Bibcode:2020NatAs...4..893N. doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1066-7. S2CID 215744925. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  3. ^ "AT 2016aps". Transient Name Server. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b Wall, Mike (13 April 2020). "Boom! Distant star explosion is brightest ever seen". Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Supernova PS16aqy". Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Photometrie for SN2016aps". The Open Supernova Catalog. James Guillochon and Jerod Parrent.
  7. ^ Rogers, Kristen (13 April 2020). "Astronomers just discovered the brightest supernova ever seen". CNN. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  8. ^ Starr, Michelle (14 April 2020). "Astronomers Detect The Most Powerful Star Explosion We've Ever Observed". Science Alert. Retrieved 15 April 2020.