Latest Supernova Stories

NASA NuSTAR Catches Glimpse Of Supernova Remnant, Black Holes
2013-01-08 12:04:09

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online NASA has released a pair of new images captured by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) — one depicting a pair of black holes lurking inside a spiral galaxy, and the other featuring a look at the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. The two pictures, which were revealed Monday at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Long Beach, California, “showcase why NuSTAR is giving us an unprecedented look...

Scientists Deduce Contents Of Cosmic Mystery Box
2013-01-01 10:16:02

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Science teachers in grade school sometimes hand out "mystery boxes," which contain ramps, barriers and a loose marble. Rotating the marble and feeling it hang up or drop, the students begin to deduce the contents of the box. Scientists who are trying to understand why tiny particles rain down from space face a similar dilemma, but on a much grander scale. Their mystery box is a hundred thousand light years across, and the only clues...

Evidence Found That Exploding Star Gave Birth To Solar System
2012-12-17 15:00:11

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online University of Chicago researchers wrote in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters that they found the radioactive isotope iron 60 low in abundance, and well mixed in solar system material, leading to the notion that the force of an exploding star prompted the formation of the Solar System. Scientists look for remnants of stellar explosions in meteorites to help determine the conditions under which the solar system...

X-ray Emissions A Tell-tale Sign Of Supernova Birth
2012-12-08 06:44:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study led by the University of Leicester has revealed new evidence suggesting X-ray detectors in space could be the first to witness new supernovae that signal the death of massive stars. An excess of X-ray radiation has been observed in the first few minutes of the collapse of massive stars. This excess may be the signature of the supernovae shock wave as it first escapes from the star. Dr. Rhaana Starling of the University...

Bright And Dim Supernovae Teach Us A Lot
2012-11-20 10:13:34

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A type of oddly dim exploding star is probably a class of duds, a new study using supercomputer simulations finds, but one that could throw new light on the mysterious nature of dark energy. Thousands of exploding stars are classified as type Ia supernovae, and most of them look similar to each other. This is why astrophysicists use them as accurate cosmic distance indicators, they show that the expansion of the universe is...

Supernova Remnant Reveals Its Aftershock
2012-11-14 12:57:25

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new image released by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the aftershock of a stellar explosion coming from supernova remnant W44. W44 is about 10,000 light-years away from Earth in a forest of dense star-forming clouds in the constellation of Aquila. ESA said the image is one of the best examples of a supernova remnant interacting with its parent molecular cloud. The supernova remnant measures about 100 light-years across....

Star Production In The Universe Is Slowing Down
2012-11-06 13:15:18

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers, writing in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, have revealed that the rate of new stars in the Universe is dropping, which is a trend that could continue. The team of astronomers from five different countries said the rate of formation of new stars is now only 1/30th of its peak. The accepted model for evolution of the Universe suggests that stars began to form about 13.4 billion years ago....

Rare Supernovae Are The Most Luminous Ever Observed
2012-11-02 04:39:13

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team, including Raymond Carlberg of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, has discovered the most-distant, super-luminous supernovae observed to date. The violent stellar explosions which caused these supernovae would have occurred soon after the Big Bang when the universe was much younger. "The objects are both unusually bright and unusually slow to fade. These are properties that...

ESA XMM-Newton Telescope Captures Space Bubble
2012-10-29 13:26:16

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The European Space Agency (ESA) has released an image of the cauldron bubble as seen by its XMM-Newton space telescope. The cauldron bubble lies 5,000 light-years away from Earth, and is a bubble bursting with the fiery stellar wind of a star. Sitting in the constellation of Canis Major, the bubble spans nearly 60 light-years across and was blown by the stellar wind of the Wolf Rayet star HD 50896. This pink star is near...

New Scenario for the Birth of Type Ia Supernovae
2012-10-26 05:49:37

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomer J. Craig Wheeler reports in The Astrophysical Journal that he has a new theory on the identity of the "parents" of Type Ia supernovae. Wheeler said that current theories of Type Ia parents do not correctly match up with telescope data on actual supernovae. There are two models today that attempt to explain how Type Ia supernovae are born, the first being "single-degenerate model." In this model, a binary star is made...

Latest Supernova Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Magnetar -- A magnetar is a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. The theory around these objects was formulated by Robert Duncan and Christopher Thompson. When in a supernova a star collapses to a neutron star, its magnetic field increases dramatically in strength. Duncan and Thompson calculated that the magnetic field of a neutron star, normally an already enormous 1012 tesla could under certain circumstances grow even larger, to about 1015 tesla. Such a highly magnetic neutron...

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Word of the Day
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.