A gravitationally lensed supernova with an observable two-decade time delay

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When the light from a distant object passes very near to a foreground galaxy or cluster, gravitational lensing can cause it to appear as multiple images on the sky(1). If the source is variable, it can be used to constrain the cosmic expansion rate(2) and dark energy models(3). Achieving these cosmological goals requires many lensed transients with precise time-delay measurements(4). Lensed supernovae are attractive for this purpose because they have relatively simple photometric behaviour, with well-understood light curve shapes and colours-in contrast to the stochastic variation of quasars. Here we report the discovery of a multiply imaged supernova, AT 2016jka ('SN Requiem'). It appeared in an evolved galaxy at redshift 1.95, gravitationally lensed by a foreground galaxy cluster(5). It is probably a type Ia supernova-the explosion of a low-mass stellar remnant, whose light curve can be used to measure cosmic distances. In archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging, three lensed images of the supernova are detected with relative time delays of

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Astronomy
Number of pages15
ISSN2397-3366
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • RESOLVING QUIESCENT GALAXIES, IA SUPERNOVAE, CLUSTERS, MAGNIFICATION, PARAMETER, SEARCH, DUST, MASS

ID: 280231928