Latest Stellar evolution Stories
In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a “theoretical” class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna Żytkow.
Based on observations taken from the Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA scientists have uncovered evidence of a rare Type Ia supernova scenario – when a white dwarf feeds off an aging giant, to the point of explosion.
For the first time ever, astronomers have directly confirmed that a rare and extremely massive type of star known as a Wolf-Rayet star died in a violent explosion known as a Type IIb supernova.
When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it explodes in a brilliant supernova explosion. The remnant of the stellar core will usually form either a neutron star or a black hole.
Researchers at MIT and Harvard have devised the most accurate model to date of how our universe first took shape. Dubbed Illustris, the new virtual cosmos covers the 13 billion-year evolution of the universe beginning just 12 million years after the Big Bang.
In the normal course of evolution, galaxies initially formed stars as clouds of hydrogen and helium collapsed. Eventually the density and temperature of the cores would ignite nuclear fusion, allowing them to shine during what we call the main sequence phase of their lives.
Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33 — usually known as Abell 33.
An astrophysicist has created a new three-dimensional model that provides new insight into the death throes of supernovae. The model is the first to represent the start of a supernova collapse in 3D.
Scientists have been confident in knowing why Type Ia supernovae are all so much alike. Most of them assumed that carbon-oxygen white dwarf stars capture additional mass by stripping it from a companion star or by merging with another white dwarf.
For the first time, astronomers have peered into the heart of an exploding star during the final minutes of its life.
The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram -- In stellar astronomy, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (H-R diagram) shows the relation between the absolute magnitude and the spectral types of stars. It was invented around 1910 by Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell. There are two equivalent forms. One is the observer's form which plots the color of the star on one axis and the absolute magnitude on the other axis. The theoretician's form plots the temperature of the star on one axis and the...
White Dwarf -- A white dwarf is a a star supported by electron degeneracy. A star like our Sun will become a white dwarf when it has exhausted its nuclear fuel. Near the end of its nuclear burning stage, such a star goes through a red giant phase and then expels most of its outer material (creating a planetary nebula) until only the hot (T > 100,000 K) core remains, which then settles down to become a young white dwarf. A typical white dwarf is half as massive as the Sun, yet only...
Supernova Remnant -- A supernova remnant (SNR) is made up of the materials left behind by the gigantic explosion of a star in a supernova. There are two possible routes to this end: either a massive star may cease to generate fusion energy in its core, and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it reaches a critical mass and undergoes a similar collapse. In either case, the resulting supernova...
Supernova -- A supernova is a star that increases its brightness drastically within a matter of days, making it appear as if a "new" star was born (hence "nova"). The "super" prefix distinguishes it from a mere nova, which also involves a star increasing in brightness, though to a lesser extent and through a much different mechanism. Astronomers have classified supernovae in several classes, according to the lines of different elements that appear in their spectra. The first element...
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