Distant supernova may reveal how universe expanded 10 billion years ago

Astronomers at the US DOE’s Berkeley Lab have found the most distant Type 1a supernova ever.  SN SCP-0401 is roughly 10 billion light-years away from Earth.  That means the supernova happened 10 billion years ago.  Given that Big Bang theory estimates the universe being created roughly 13.77 billion years ago, the discovery of SN SCP-0401 is particularly exciting.

SN SCP-0401 is not just far away either.  It has a very detailed spectrum and has excellent color measurement with a redshift of 1.71.  These features make this supernova an excellent one for gathering data on.  Researchers will study how the exploding star might have affected the universe over the 10 billion years since it went supernova.

The Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) at Berkeley Lab used the Hubble Space Telescope to make the discovery.  SN SCP-0401 was originally spotted in 2004, but it was so far away that a new camera had to be installed to even see it.  That camera was installed in 2009 and the team at SCP was able to get a good view of SN SCP-0401 in January of 2013.