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Do You Know: The Oldest Ever Detected Supernova Happened 10.5 Billion Years Ago

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Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • The first Supernova ever discovered was 10.5 billion years old
  • The star named DES16C2nm was detected by the Dark Energy Survey
  • Researchers used very powerful telescopes to detect it

An international team of astronomers has discovered the oldest supernova ever detected — a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago.

A supernova is the explosion of a massive star at the end of its life cycle.

The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia  Commons
The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia Commons

The exploding star, named DES16C2nm, was detected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration to map several hundred million galaxies in order to find out more about dark energy — the mysterious force believed to be causing the accelerated expansion of the universe.

As detailed in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, light from the event has taken 10.5 billion years to reach Earth, making it the oldest supernova ever discovered and studied.

The universe itself is thought to be 13.8 billion years old.

Also Read: Mangalyaan Mission: A huge leap into space

“It’s thrilling to be part of the survey that has discovered the oldest known supernova,” said the lead author of the study Mathew Smith of the University of Southampton in Britain.

A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay
A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay

is extremely distant, extremely bright, and extremely rare – not the sort of thing you stumble across every day as an astronomer,” Smith said.

The researchers used three powerful telescopes — the Very Large Telescope and the Magellan, in Chile, and the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii — to measure the exploding star’s distance and brightness.

More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions worldwide are involved in the DES, a five-year project which began in 2013.

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Researchers Suggest Childbirth at The Age of 50 Safe

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour

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Pregnant Women
Lady with her baby. Pixabay

It is as safe to give birth at the age of 50 as at 40 and it would not endanger the mother or the baby, suggest Israeli researchers.

The study, led by a team from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Centre, found that owing to medical and technological advancements – including extracellular fertilisation and egg donation – the age at which a woman can give birth has gradually increased.

“It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,” according to Eyal Sheiner, Director at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Soroka.

“There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over the age of 50,” Sheiner added.

Complications, such as premature births, gestational diabetes, hypertension and cesarean sections, were found higher among women over 40 who gave birth to children compared to those who gave birth below that age.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Childbirth at 50 could be safe: Study. Wikimedia Commons

However, there was no escalation of these complications in women over the age of 50, compared to women who gave birth between the age of 40 and 50, according to the study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) 39th Annual Meeting on Pregnancy.

But Sheiner still advised to treat the pregnancies of women over the age of 40 as high-risk ones, even more so in case of pregnancies of women over the age of 50.

Special emphasis should be placed on tracking fasting glucose and pregnant blood pressure for early detection of complications, he said.

Also Read- Apple Imparting Health Education to Supplier Workers in India

The study included 242,771 deliveries at Soroka, of which 234,824 (96.7 per cent) occurred in women younger than 40 years and the rest occurred in women between the age group of 40 and 50 and older.

Besides pregnancy complications, the team also examined if the newborn suffered from poor physical condition, mortality or distress during labour. (IANS)