A Supernova Diptych
These are the spectral fingerprints of two very different supernovae (exploding stars) changing over time. The left is from a white dwarf exploding, and the right is from the core of a massive star collapsing. Different types of supernovae have very distinct spectra.
All spectra were taken with the telescopes of Las Cumbres Observatory, a worldwide network of robotic telescopes based in Goleta. The supernova on the left is the type Ia SN 2017cbv, and the supernova on the right is the type II SN 2017eaw. The x-axis measures wavelength, ranging from 4000 to 9000 angstroms (left to right), and the y-axis ranges measure time, ranging from the supernova’s peak brightness to 100 days after that (top to bottom). All coding to generate the plots was done in Python.