The money will be used to fund a 5-year project to find and study supernovae. A supernova is an enormous explosion that occurs when a massive star collapses. At the Department of astronomy, researchers are working to better understand the physics behind these explosions.

"Previous supernova surveys have often discovered supernovae days or weeks after explosion. We want to find them on the very first night. In this way we hope to learn more about their progenitors, the stars that actually exploded," says Jesper Sollerman, leader of the grant application.

The supernova project also includes researches from the Physics department, who are intersested in a specific type of supernovae called Type 1a. Since Type 1a supernovae always have the same brightness, they can be used to measure the distances to far-away galaxies. This in turn can be used to study the expansion of the Universe, which resulted in the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.

Read more about the grant.