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Latest SN 2006gy Stories

Chandra Captures Supernova Shock Wave
2012-05-16 03:13:51

Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovas are much more powerful than others. On Nov. 3, 2010, a supernova was discovered in the galaxy UGC 5189A, located about 160 million light years away. Using data from the All Sky Automated Survey telescope in Hawaii taken earlier, astronomers...

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2010-08-04 10:30:00

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time obtained a three-dimensional view of the distribution of the innermost material expelled by a recently exploded star. The original blast was not only powerful, according to the new results. It was also more concentrated in one particular direction. This is a strong indication that the supernova must have been very turbulent, supporting the most recent computer models. Unlike the Sun, which will die rather quietly, massive...

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2010-05-25 06:35:00

This beautiful composite image shows N49, the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud. A new long observation from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, shown in blue, reveals evidence for a bullet-shaped object being blown out of debris field left over from an exploded star. In order to detect this bullet, a team of researchers led by Sangwook Park of Penn State University used Chandra to observe N49 for over 30 hours. This bullet can be seen in the bottom right hand...

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2008-09-25 08:10:00

Powerful nearby supernova caught by web of telescopes Over a decade after it exploded, one of the nearest supernovae in the last 25 years has been The supernova, called SN 1996cr, was first singled out in 2001 by Franz Bauer. Bauer noticed a bright, variable source in the Circinus spiral galaxy, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Although the source displayed some exceptional properties Bauer and his Penn State colleagues could not identify its nature confidently at the time. It was...

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2008-03-20 13:27:59

Astronomers have made the best ever determination of the power of a supernova explosion that was visible from Earth long ago. By observing the remnant of a supernova and a light echo from the initial outburst, they have established the validity of a powerful new method for studying supernovas. Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA's XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Gemini Observatory, two teams of researchers studied the supernova remnant and its light echo, located in the...

2008-01-08 10:38:09

An explosive star within our galaxy is showing signs of an impending eruption, at least in a cosmic time frame, and has for quite some time. From 1838 to 1858, the star called Eta Carinae brightened to rival the light of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and then faded to a dim star. Since 1940 it has been brightening again, and scientists think Eta Carinae will detonate in 10,000 to 20,000 years. Fortunately, Eta Carinae is far away, at least 7,500 light-years from Earth. If it...

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2007-10-17 13:55:00

Astronomers have located an exceptionally massive black hole in orbit around a huge companion star. This result has intriguing implications for the evolution and ultimate fate of massive stars. The black hole is part of a binary system in M33, a nearby galaxy about 3 million light years from Earth. By combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Gemini telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the mass of the black hole, known as M33 X-7, was determined to be 15.7 times that of the Sun....

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2007-06-20 13:50:00

Eta Carinae is a mysterious, extremely bright and unstable star located a mere stone's throw - astronomically speaking - from Earth at a distance of only about 7,500 light years. The star is thought to be consuming its nuclear fuel at an incredible rate, while quickly drawing closer to its ultimate explosive demise. When Eta Carinae does explode, it will be a spectacular fireworks display seen from Earth, perhaps rivaling the moon in brilliance. Its fate has been foreshadowed by the recent...

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2007-05-07 14:25:00

The brightest stellar explosion ever recorded may be a long-sought new type of supernova, according to observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes. This discovery indicates that violent explosions of extremely massive stars were relatively common in the early universe, and that a similar explosion may be ready to go off in our own galaxy. "This was a truly monstrous explosion, a hundred times more energetic than a typical supernova," said Nathan...

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2007-01-09 16:15:00

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have created a stunning new image of one of the youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. This new view of the debris of an exploded star helps astronomers solve a long-standing mystery, with implications for understanding how a star's life can end catastrophically and for gauging the expansion of the universe. Over 400 years ago, sky watchers -- including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler -- noticed a bright new object in the night...