Supernovae are exploding stars that emit a large amount of energy in space. The optical light is so intense that one can to see tham at great distances that allow to probe cosmological models of the Universe. There are two main types of supernovae: types Ia and type II. Only supernovae Type Ia are used toconstrain cosmological models. Improved knowledge on supernovae is important.
The TAROT telescope at La Silla (Chile), led by astronomers of IRAP, has discovered a supernova during the night of 23 to 24 June 2012 in the galaxy ESO 139-G28 located 256 million light years away. The Las Campanas Observatory astronomers Chile have pointed the supernova and have obtained a spectrum with the Magellan telescope 6m50. They found that the supernova is of type Ia.
This result was recorded by the Astronomical Union International who gave the identification SN 2012db to this supernova.
The TAROT telescope is normally intended to observe the optical emission from star explosions (gamma ray-bursts) but it is also used for various other astrophysical studies. It was built in 2006 by a team of astronomers from IRAP. A second copy is installed in France.