An international team of researchers based at the International Centre for Relativistic Astrophysics at La Sapienza University, Rome, predicted a spectacular and scientifically significant event: the explosion of a supernova.
On April 27, the team of young researchers, ages 25 and 29, working towards their PhDs in international astrophysics and led by professor Remo Ruffini, detected a flash of gamma radiation, originating from the constellation of Leo.
According to a theoretical model they then developed, the supernova would be visible through a telescope as it formed over the next 12 days. On May 2, despite general skepticism, the team sent a memo to the major observatories on various continents, advising them to look for the supernova. On May 14, observers at the Gran Telescopio Canarias witnessed the supernova, photographing the extraordinary event.
The Italian team was delighted to receive confirmation of their theoretical model.
The minister for education, universities and research, Maria Chiara Carrozza, commented on the discovery, emphasizing the talent of Italian researchers and the need to invest further in the field.