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Observations

“Supernova” Cave Art Myth Debunked

photo of the White Mesa rock art thought to be the Crab supernova

Thousands of years ago a star exploded in a supernova, leaving behind the glorious riot of colored gas we see now as the Crab Nebula. The light from this explosion reached Earth in 1054 A.D., creating what looked like a new bright star in the sky as recorded by ancient Chinese and Arab astronomers. Native [...]

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Observations

Fermi Satellite Tracks Cosmic-Ray Origins Back to Supernova Remnants

Supernova shock wave

The cosmos is full of surprises—not a week goes by without some group of astronomers announcing a perplexing new discovery that upends theory or expectation. But equally important is the difficult and time-consuming research required to firmly pin down what astronomers think they already know. Take, for instance, a new study on the origins of [...]

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Observations

Astronomers Spot Most Distant Supernova Yet

most distant supernova, SLSNe

A superluminous supernova may sound like a designation dreamed up by someone with a penchant for hyperbole, but such explosions are deserving of the extravagant language. They are very big blasts—and two newfound examples originated in the very distant past. Astronomers using two telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii have discovered a pair of supernovae [...]

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Observations

The Real Explosions in the Sky: Supernovae Translated into Music [Video]

Tycho

What does a supernova sound like? Hopefully we will never find out directly—getting within earshot of an exploding star is probably a bad idea. But a pair of researchers has nonetheless devised a way to represent supernovae in an auditory way, and the result is a rather interesting piece of abstract music. University of Victoria [...]

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