Latest Supernova Stories
Dark energy is so difficult to understand, but this specific type of supernovae could help determine the rate at which the universe is expanding.
A mysterious explosion in the sky observed in the 17th century was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent stellar collision.
WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an international scientific team discovered that supernovae are capable
Astronomers have identified a previously invisible stellar cluster currently forming over 1 million new stars, according to a report in the journal Nature.
For the first time ever, NASA has managed to capture a detailed time-lapse of a "mini supernova," and they believe this catch will have a big impact on studying stellar explosions.
Once a star, the Veil Nebula is now a twisted mass of shockwaves that appears to be six-times the size of our moon, but it sure is nice to look at – as demonstrated by a high-resolution image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and released by the ESA on Monday.
One explosion is cool. But four? That's great. Astronomers observed a star explode as a supernova 4 different times in this effect known as the Einstein Cross.
Because the debris fields of exploded stars, known as supernova remnants, are very hot, energetic, and glow brightly in X-ray light, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has proven to be a valuable tool in studying them. The supernova remnant called G299.2-2.9 (or G299 for short) is located within our Milky Way galaxy, but Chandra’s new image of it is reminiscent of a beautiful flower here on Earth.
Hypervelocity stars have been observed traversing the Galaxy at extreme velocities (700 km/s), but the mechanisms that give rise to such phenomena are still debated. Astronomer Thomas M. Tauris argues that lopsided supernova explosions can eject lower-mass Solar stars from the Galaxy at speeds up to 1280 km/s. “[This mechanism] can account for the majority (if not all) of the detected G/K-dwarf hypervelocity candidates,” he said.
Astronomers using ESO facilities in combination with telescopes in the Canary Islands have identified two surprisingly massive stars at the heart of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428. As they orbit each other, the two stars are expected to slowly get closer and closer, and when they merge, about 700 million years from now, they will contain enough material to ignite a vast supernova explosion.
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...
Stellar Evolution -- Stellar evolution is the process of formation, life, and death of stars. It is one of the major topics of cosmogony. Star Birth and Life A star starts out as an enormous cloud of gas and dust many light-years across. Star formation begins when the cloud begins to condense under its own gravity. The processes that initiate this contraction are not fully understood. The cloud fragments fuse into stellar mass clouds known as protostars. Protostars do not emit...
Nova -- A nova is an enormous nuclear explosion caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of a white dwarf star. When a white dwarf has a close companion star, the companion will often begin to have its outer atmosphere drawn away from it by the white dwarf's gravity as the companion star ages and expands into a red giant. The gases so captured consist primarily of hydrogen and helium, the two principle constituents of matter in the universe. The gases are compacted on the...
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