{mosimage}News source: ESO. An Italian press release is available on the INAF web-site

Object intermediate between normal supernovae and gamma-ray bursts found. A European-led team of astronomers [among whom three IASF-BO researchers: {cb_profile=maiorano}Elisabetta Maiorano{/cb_profile}, {cb_profile=masetti}Nicola Masetti{/cb_profile}, and {cb_profile=palazzi}Eliana Palazzi{/cb_profile}] are providing hints that a recent supernova may not be as normal as initially thought. Instead, the star that exploded is now understood to have collapsed into a black hole, producing a weak jet, typical of much more violent events, the so-called gamma-ray bursts. The object, SN 2008D, is thus probably among the weakest explosions that produce very fast moving jets. This discovery represents a crucial milestone in the understanding of the most violent phenomena observed in the Universe. These striking results, partly based on observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope, will appear tomorrow in Science Express, the online version of Science.