Astronomers find stellar fossil that may be one of the universes first stars

Astronomers have found a stellar fossil that they believe is one of the universe's very first stars.

The star, named AS0039, is located around 290,000 light-years from the solar system in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy.

The fossil has the lowest concentration of metal of any star measured outside the Milky Way, according to Live Science.

Researchers now believe that the remnant is a descendent of one of the universe's earliest stars, which also contained very little metal.

The team found that the parent star of AS0039 would have been around 20 solar masses and likely died in a stellar explosion 10 to 100 times more powerful than a regular, known as a hypernova.

The discovery may reveal new information about the universe's first stars, which have never been observed until now.

Mike Irwin, study co-author at the University of Cambridge, said: "AS0039 has such an unusual chemical composition that it enables us to probe the nature of the first stars and, in particular, their stellar mass."

The news comes after astronomers were able to see the life cycle of a star in real-time as the Hubble Space Telescope gave them their first look at one becoming a supernova.

Hubble's data, combined with other observations, allowed researchers to watch the exploding star 60 million light-years away and become a supernova.

The supernova, also known as SN 2020fqv, located in the Butterfly Galaxies was discovered in April 2020 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California.

The explosion was simultaneously being observed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a NASA satellite giving experts the first holistic view of the earliest stage of a star's destruction.

The observation also allowed experts to examine the material close to the supernova that was ejected during the last year of its life.

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