The National Astronomical Research Institute (Public Organization) (NARIT), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), has revealed that the Thai National Telescope (TNO) with a diameter of 2.4 meters, located at the National Observatory on Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand, joined an international research team to observe the supernova remnants AT2022tsd. The team discovered an unprecedented post-explosion energetic flare occurring more than 100 days after the initial supernova explosion. Additionally, a short-duration energetic flare lasting only 30 seconds, the shortest ever observed with a telescope in this wavelength range of light, was identified. This research has been published in the journal Nature.
Dr. Anna Y. Q. Ho, leading the international team from Cornell University, USA, made another remarkable discovery of the supernova remnants of AT2022tsd. This marks the first-time scientists have observed the aftermath of a supernova explosion more than 100 days after the initial event. The TNO played a crucial role in observing and identifying a short-duration flare lasting approximately 30 seconds, the shortest ever recorded with a telescope in this wavelength range. The findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature on November 15, 2023.
Dr. Supachai Awiphan, the Director of the Center for Optics and Photonics, NARIT, revealed that the supernova is the final explosion in the lifecycle of a star. Following this event, an active stellar corpse was the likely source of repeated energetic flares observed over several months, which are thought to be either massive-star core-collapse events or the tidal disruptions of stars or white dwarfs by stellar-mass or intermediate-mass black holes, respectively. Scientists refer to this rapid and unexplained flare as a Luminous Fast Blue Optical Transient (LFBOT). The first such event, AT2018cow, was discovered in 2018.
On September 7, 2025, the Zwicky Transient Facility in the United States observed rapid changes in the brightness of the celestial object named AT2022tsd or Tasmanian Devil. Although this event was predicted to be a supernova, it exhibited a higher initial brightness and faster decline than a typical supernova similar to the LFBOT phenomenon. Following the detection, astronomers continuously observed AT2022tsd using telescopes located worldwide.
On December 15, 2025, astronomers observed a flare of AT2022tsd using the Magellan Telescope in Chile. This marked the first LFBOT event detected more than 100 days after the initial explosion. After that, the Thai National Telescope, along with 13 other telescopes worldwide, tracked AT2022tsd for over 60 hours, capturing more than 14 flares.
Thai National Telescope (TNO) with a diameter of 2.4 meters
at the National Observatory, Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai Province.
Dr. Supachai highlighted the significance of high-speed imaging equipment, emphasizing the necessity of the 2.4-meter TNO, in collaboration with ULTRASPEC equipment developed in partnership with the University of Sheffield and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. This collaboration resulted in the discovery of a 30-second short-lived flare on December 19, 2025. This event is the shortest-duration flare ever observed using telescopes in the optical wavelength range
The recurrence of a rapid and bright flare similar to the initial supernova, but after a long interval, poses a mystery that scientists are keen to investigate further. It suggests an unknown mechanism, possibly related to rapid rotation, a strong magnetic field, or a unique type of supernova. Alternatively, this may signify a different phenomenon, such as the merging of the supernova with a black hole, presenting an exciting avenue for future research.
The findings of this research not only enhance our understanding of the late stages of stellar evolution but also underscore the need for ongoing scientific exploration to broaden human knowledge. The discovery of such a brief-duration flare emphasizes the potential of the 2.4-meter TNO to elevate astronomical studies both nationally and globally in the future."