The search for the “missing link” between the universe and the Milky Way has begun, as astronomers have identified a new supernova in a galaxy far away.
Researchers have been searching for supernovae in galaxies far and wide since the early 1980s, but have never found one until now.
The new galaxy, known as KIC 8462852, is the second supernova discovered in the Milky Path and the first in an “arc” of the Milky Eye.
The team found evidence for a collision between two young galaxies, but found no sign of the first supernova.
“This is one of the most exciting discoveries we’ve made in recent years,” said lead researcher Peter Storrs of the University of Edinburgh, UK.
“It’s a really important piece of the puzzle.
If we can use the new data we have from KIC to work out what happens in the rest of the universe, we can really help solve some of the big questions about the early universe.”
The supernova was discovered on March 11 by a team led by James O’Brien of the Carnegie Observatories in New York, using the HARPS supernova survey telescope.
The two-metre-wide supernova is thought to have exploded between 8.8 and 8.9 billion years ago.
The discovery was published in the journal Nature on Tuesday.