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Posts Tagged "supernovae"

Basic Space

Supernova 1006 lived fast and left no companion behind

KABOOM!

A supernova that lit up the skies in the year 1006 lived and died fast, leaving no companion star behind, astronomers have found. The result is the latest clue in a puzzle that has been troubling astronomers for some time – how does this type of stellar explosion happen? Supernova 1006 exploded, as seen from [...]

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Basic Space

How most of the universe was lost

When Brian Schmidt got his PhD in astrophysics in 1993, he was one of less than a handful of people that year that graduated with a thesis on supernovae. Five years later, still working on exploding stars, he would be part of one of two teams that independently discovered that the universe was not only [...]

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Basic Space

What I missed: Juice, supernova origins, Vesta’s secrets and an invisible exoplanet

Cosmic dust close to Orion's belt. Credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2

I took a couple of weeks off blogging while I had my exams at the start of the month. This is what I missed. ESA has approved a billion-euro mission to Jupiter’s icy moons, called Juice (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer). The spacecraft will (hopefully) launch in 2022 and reach Jupiter eight years later in 2030. [...]

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Basic Space

Supernova turns inside out and kicks neutron star

Astronomers have taken a fresh look at an old supernova and found that it was turned inside out during its explosion. Iron, which forms during the stars death, is usually in the centre of the supernova remnant. But in Cassiopeia A they found it on the outside instead. This analysis has also shed some light [...]

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Basic Space

How Brain Scans Can Help Astronomers Understand Stars

A false color image of Cassiopeia A using observations from both the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, and Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credit: {link url="http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1445-ssc2005-14c-Cassiopeia-A-Death-Becomes-Her"}NASA/JPL-Caltech{/link}

They may come from completely different fields of study, but brain scans and supernovae have more in common than you would think. In a new TED talk, Michelle Borkin explains how software developed for use in a hospital was able to help astronomers study the structure of supernovae. An astronomer colleague of Borkin’s at the [...]

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Basic Space

Stars That Go Out With a Bang

Supernova 2011fe in the Pinwheel Galaxy. Credit: {link url="http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/supernova-in-m101-aug-25th-full-processing/"}Thunderf00t{/link}

When a star becomes a white dwarf — an old, extremely dense star that would have once been similar to our own Sun — the eventful part of its life is over. It releases what heat and light it has left over billions of years, slowly cooling until it no longer shines. Usually. Some white [...]

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Basic Space

The Strange Case of the Christmas Burst

Artist's impression of one possible scenario — the supernova model — for the creation of the Christmas gamma-ray burst.  Credit: {link url="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010800/a010808/"}NASA/Swift/Aurore Simonnet, Sonoma State Univ.{/link}

How did the Christmas gamma-ray burst explode? No, it’s not a geeky Christmas cracker joke, it’s a real question scientists have been trying to answer since Christmas day last year, when a gamma-ray burst called GRB 101225A first lit up the sky. The Christmas burst, as its come to be known, exhibted some rather unusual [...]

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Basic Space

Massive Stars Create ‘Cocoon’ of Cosmic Rays

Cygnus X is a star forming region in the constellation Cygnus in the night sky. It looks rather pretty in visible light, as shown at the beginning of the video below. But in radio, infrared and gamma ray wavelengths, Cygnus X really comes to life. Recent Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations have shown that [...]

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Basic Space

Double checking our cosmic tape measure

In the late 90s there was a race going on between two astronomy collaborations. Both were on the verge of making a discovery that would change the field of cosmology forever, though they may not have realised it at the time. The High-z Supernova Search Team and the Supernova Cosmology Project were both studying a [...]

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Basic Space

We’re cosmic dust but you’re everything to me

On February 23rd 1987, the journey of some light that had been travelling for 168,000 years came to an end. Astronomer Ian Shelton at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile was observing the night sky as usual when he saw something out of the ordinary. Not long after Shelton reported the discovery, an astronomer in [...]

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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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