Hubble captures first-ever predicted exploding star

“Caught in the act”reads the news headline for the first-ever observation of a predicted exploding star. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured the image of the first-ever predicted supernova as shown in the image below (bottom right), compared against an image from months earlier (top right). The reappearance of the Refsdal supernova was calculated from different models of the galaxy cluster whose immense gravity is warping the supernova’s light.

This image composite shows the search for the supernova, nicknamed Refsdal, using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The image to the left shows a part of the the deep field observation of the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 from the Frontier Fields programme. The circle indicates the predicted position of the newest appearance of the supernova. To the lower right the Einstein cross event from late 2014 is visible. The image on the top right shows observations by Hubble from October 2015, taken at the beginning of observation programme to detect the newest appearance of the supernova. The image on the lower right shows the discovery of the Refsdal Supernova on 11 December 2015, as predicted by several different models.

This image composite shows the search for the supernova, nicknamed Refsdal, using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The left image shows a part of the deep field observation of the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 from the Frontier Fields program. The circle indicates the predicted position of the newest appearance of the supernova. To the lower right the Einstein Cross event from late 2014 is visible. The top right image shows observations by the Hubble Space Telescope from October 2015, taken at the beginning of observation program to detect the newest appearance of the supernova. The lower right image shows the discovery of the Refsdal supernova on 11 December 2015, as predicted by several different models. Credit: NASA/ESA.

The claim is that the powerful gravity from a large elliptical galaxy and its galaxy cluster magnifies the light from the supernova much more distant behind them via a gravitational effect called gravitational lensing. Based on their redshifts and standard cosmology, the elliptical galaxy and its galaxy cluster, MACS J1149.6+2223, are 5 billion light-years from Earth and the supernova a further 4.3 billion light-years behind them. Because of the different paths for light from the same supernova explosion, produced by the lensing effect of the cluster, different images arrive at Earth at different times.

Very few supernova explosions have ever been caught in the act, simply because astronomers do not know when a star will explode. Until now successfully observing a new one has been by chance. On 11 December 2015 astronomers not only imaged a supernova explosion, but saw it when and where they had predicted it would be.

I previously discussed the multiple images of this supernova and one claim of it refuting the YEC ASC cosmology.2 I found that there was no basis for such a claim. The delay in the arrival time of the light due to different travel paths is the same regardless of the timing convention used. The case of the ASC model, using the Anisotropic Synchrony convention, would predict the same result as the published analysis, which used the Einstein Synchrony convention (ESC) and the finite canonical speed of light (c).

There is no argument here for refuting a biblical creation timescale of only 6000 years or so since creation. The claimed distance to the supernova is 9.3 billion light-years and the foreground lensing galaxy cluster is 5 billion light-years from Earth. The arrival time of the different images only gives you a measure of the deviations in the travel paths from a direct line of sight,2 and those, at best, amount to only a few decades of additional travel time. There is a claimed earlier arrival once before in 1998 — an event not observed by any telescope.1 So, even if that were true, the most we are talking about is a variation of arrival times of less than 20 years, which is nothing compared to 6000 years.

I believe seven different cluster gravitational lensing models were used and they all predicted roughly the same arrival time. These models assumed a certain level of dark matter in those models. So does that validate the existence of dark matter? Not really. It only makes a statement about the deviation from the line-of-sight path of the light from the supernova.

There are several other assumptions in this that include the correct distances to the host galaxy and the lensing cluster. Those distances are based on their measured redshifts but what if those redshifts are not indicative of their cosmological distance, as suggested by Arp and others,3 then even the dark matter content of the lensing cluster may be totally wrong because the cluster and the supernova host galaxy are not at their assumed cosmological distances. That would invalidate the models.

In one previous example,4 of a gravitationally-lensed background galaxy the assumed dark matter in a lensing galaxy was found to be missing. According to the standard big bang model and the theory of galaxy formation more unseen dark matter should exist in the lensing galaxy than the lens indicates from the theory of lensing (derived from Einstein’s general relativity). So, just maybe, they have not got this one right either, and the lensing theory is not as robust as one might like to believe.

The biblical creationist ASC model,5 which I used in my biblical creationist cosmogony,can just as well explain the delay in arrival times as any big bang cosmology.

References

  1. Caught in the act, heic1525 — Science Release, December 16, 2015
  2. J.G. Hartnett, First ever gravitationally lensed supernova — a problem for the biblical creationist model? November 22, 2015.
  3. J.G. Hartnett, Halton Arp — Big bang defying giant passes away, December 29, 2013.
  4. J.G. Hartnett, Missing matter mostly missing in lensing galaxy, June 25, 2014.
  5. J.P. Lisle, Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem, Answers Research Journal 2:191–207, 2010.
  6. J.G. Hartnett,  A biblical creationist cosmogony, January 15, 2015.