SN 2006gy: Discovery of the Most Luminous Supernova Ever Recorded, Powered by the Death of an Extremely Massive Star like η Carinae

@article{Smith2006SN2D,
  title={SN 2006gy: Discovery of the Most Luminous Supernova Ever Recorded, Powered by the Death of an Extremely Massive Star like $\eta$ Carinae},
  author={Nathan Smith and Weidong Li and Ryan J. Foley and J. Craig Wheeler and David Pooley and Ryan Chornock and Alexei V. Filippenko and Jeffrey M. Silverman and Robert M. Quimby and Joshua S. Bloom and Charles E. Hansen},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  year={2006},
  volume={666},
  pages={1116 - 1128}
}
We report the discovery and early observations of the peculiar Type IIn supernova (SN) 2006gy in NGC 1260. With a peak visual magnitude of about -22, it is the most luminous supernova ever recorded. Its very slow rise to maximum took ~70 days, and it stayed brighter than -21 mag for about 100 days. It is not yet clear what powers the enormous luminosity and the total radiated energy of ~1051 erg, but we argue that any known mechanism—thermal emission, circumstellar interaction, or 56Ni decay… 
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