Hubble star field with inset, annotated tryptich on the bottom, views of a galaxy before and during a supernova event - then the event itself minus the ambient light from the galaxy

Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Riess (STScI and JHU), and D. Jones and S. Rodney (JHU)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found the farthest supernova so far of the type used to measure cosmic distances. Supernova UDS10Wil, nicknamed SN Wilson after American President Woodrow Wilson, exploded more than 10 billion years ago.

SN Wilson belongs to a special class called Type Ia supernovae. These bright beacons are prized by astronomers because they provide a consistent level of brightness that can be used to measure the expansion of space. They also yield clues to the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force accelerating the rate of expansion.

via NASA – Hubble Breaks Record in Search for Farthest Supernova.