NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed the supernova SN 2020fqv, the results of which will help scientists determine which stars are on the verge of exploding.
SN 2020fqv is located 60 million light-years away in the spiral galaxies Siamese Twins (NGC 4567 and NGC 4568), in the constellation Virgo. Using the Hubble telescope and the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) orbiting observatory, scientists were able to obtain images of the remnants of the star almost immediately after the explosion and several days after the destruction.
"The Hubble gave astronomers a detailed look at the evolution of matter, called circumstellar material, just hours after the supernova explosion. TESS provided images of the system every 30 minutes, starting a few days before the explosion and ending a few weeks after the explosion. This allowed scientists to see what had been going on around the star in the previous decade.
Theoretical models and their comparison with observational results showed that the mass of the exploded star was about 14-15 times the mass of the Sun. Accurately determining the mass of a star that goes supernova is crucial to understanding how massive stars live and die.