Supernovae Project

In this project, you will view, measure, record, and analyse data from the Gaia space telescope. We need you to measure the change in brightness of a supernova over a period of time. Your work will help us to learn more about these powerful stellar objects. This project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Artist's Impression of the Supernova, SN2016aps
Credit: M. Weiss

Supernovae are huge explosions in space.  During one of these events, a star can rapidly become more than a million times brighter than usual. For a short period of time, one supernova can even shine brighter than a whole galaxy. 

Not all supernovae are the same, so they can be divided into several groups. In this project, you will use data from a Type Ia Supernovae.

By the end of the project you will:

  • Know how to use software to view, measure, record, and analyse data
  • Have done photometry (measured how bright objects in space are)
  • Have created a light curve graph for a supernova

To complete the project you will need: 

Use the items in the menu to:

  1. Learn, 'what are supernovae?'
  2. Find out how we detect supernovae
  3. Read through the instructions and view the resources
  4. Learn how to use the software
  5. Get help or answers to common questions