The image shows the Gaia light curve of Gaia16aeg - the first exciting supernova discovered by Gaia in 2016. This supernova was first discovered independently by the ASAS-SN survey (as ASASSN-15lv) in mid 2015, and classified as a Type IIb supernova, at a relatively close distance of around 60 million parsecs (Mpc). Type IIb supernovae arise from the core-collapse of a massive star which has retained only a thin layer of its hydrogen envelope.
The photometric measurements of Gaia16aeg show a steady decline in brightness over six months, as the radioactive elements that are responsible for powering the lightcurve of the supernova decay to iron. See Gaia16aeg spectra for Gaia16aeg spectra measured through this decline in brightness.
See Gaia sees exploding stars next door for more information.
Page last updated: 17 March 2016