A 900-year-old cosmic mystery surrounding the origins of a supernova first spotted over China in 1181 has finally been solved. The Pa30 Nebula has been identified as the source of the 12th-century explosion, which Chinese and Japanese astronomers said was as bright as the planet Saturn and remained visible for six months.
Experts said that the Nebula Pa30, which surrounds Parker’s Stars. Parker’s star is one of the hottest stars in the Milky Way. This fits the profile, location and age of the historic supernova. There have been only five bright supernovae in the Milky Way in the last millennium. The five bright supernovae include the famous Crab Nebula, but the origins of all bar the ‘Chinese Guest Star’ have been well known.
Astronomers belonging to the 12th century documented an approximate location in the sky of the 1181 sighting. There is no confirmed remnant of the explosion until now. The discovery was made by a team of international astronomers from Hong Kong, the UK, Spain, Hungary and France.In a new research paper, they found that the Pa30 Nebula is expanding at an extreme velocity of more than 1,100 km per second. They used this velocity to derive an age at around 1,000 years, which would coincide with the events of 1181.
Professor Albert Zijlstra, from the University of Manchester, was one of the astronomers involved in the research. The professor added that historical reports place the guest star between two Chinese constellations, Chuanshe and Huagai.The hottest star in a milky way fits the position well. That means both the age and location fit with the events of 1181. It has previously been suggested that Pa30 and Parker’s Star formed as a result of the merger of two white dwarfs.