Latest Robert Kirshner Stories
Two very different models explain the possible origin of Type Ia supernovae, and different studies support each model. New evidence shows that both models are correct - some of these supernovae are created one way and some the other.
With the last of the 2011 Nobel Laureates announced yesterday, it is noteworthy that five of these recipients have conducted research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)--Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess received the Nobel Prize in Physics; and Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims received the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have found that a supernova discovered last year was caused by two colliding white dwarf stars. The white dwarfs were siblings orbiting each other.
Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months.