Latest Supernova Stories

Stampede Supercomputer Simulations Used To Shed Light On Distant Explosions
2014-07-03 03:08:46

Aaron Dubrow, National Science Foundation Using the National Science Foundation-supported Stampede supercomputer, Philipp Moesta and Christian D. Ott from the California Institute of Technology succeeded in performing the first 3-D simulations of a collapsing star that takes into account the influence of general relativity and magnetohydrodynamics--the interplay of electrically conducting fluids like plasmas and powerful magnetic fields. The death of these collapsing stars leads to...

Dark Energy Survey Discovers Exotic Supernova
2014-06-26 03:28:35

Royal Astronomical Society The first images taken by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) after the survey began in August 2013 have revealed a rare, ‘superluminous’ supernova that erupted in a galaxy 7.8 billion light years away. The stellar explosion, called DES13S2cmm, easily outshines most galaxies in the Universe and could still be seen in the data six months later, at the end of the first of what will be five years of observing by DES. The event was discovered by Andreas Papadopoulos, a...

Astronomers May Have Found Coldest, Faintest White Dwarf Ever
2014-06-23 14:57:23

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using data from three different telescopes, a large international team of astronomers has identified what could be the coldest, faintest while dwarf ever, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal. The report said the temperature of the stellar vestige is so low, the carbon it contains has probably undergone crystallization, a process that results in the formation of a diamond here on Earth. “It’s a really...

Astronomers Discover Bizarre Type Of Hybrid Star
2014-06-05 03:57:41

CU-Boulder 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. Thorne-Żytkow objects (TŻOs) are hybrids of red supergiant and neutron stars that superficially resemble normal red supergiants, such as Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion. They differ, however, in their distinct chemical signatures that result from unique activity in their stellar...

McDonald Observatory Sees Light From Huge Explosion 12 Billion Years Ago
2014-06-05 03:04:01

Margaret Allen, Southern Methodist University Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star more than 12 billion years ago — shortly after the Big Bang — recently reached Earth and was visible in the sky. Known as a gamma-ray burst, light from the rare, high-energy explosion traveled for 12.1 billion years before it was detected and observed by a telescope, ROTSE-IIIb, owned by Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Gamma-ray bursts are believed to be the catastrophic...

Dissecting Dust from Detonation of Dead Star
2014-06-05 08:37:41

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A supernova occurs when a tiny white dwarf star detonates in a massive blast and a common class of these explosions, called Type Ia, occurs when two white dwarfs orbiting each other collide. Based on observations taken from the Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA scientists have uncovered evidence of a much rarer Type Ia supernova scenario – when a white dwarf feeds off an aging giant, to the point of explosion. According to a report...

Supernova Recreation Reveals How Interstellar Magnetic Fields May Have Formed
2014-06-02 10:03:18

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using a laser beam 60,000 billion times more powerful than a typical laser pointer, researchers have recreated a small-scale supernova and revealed that cosmic turbulence may have boosted magnetic fields to the power seen in interstellar space, according to a new report in the journal Nature Physics. "Magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the universe," said study author Don Lamb, a professor in astronomy and astrophysics at the University...

Supernova Progenitor Revealed
2014-05-22 06:28:27

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online 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, and their observations will help scientists better understand the life and death of the progenitor Wolf-Rayet. While our sun is 330,000 times more massive than Earth, comprises 99.86 percent of the total mass of the Solar System, and has a...

Have Experts Finally Solved The Mystery Of Magnetars?
2014-05-14 06:55:50

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online 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. Occasionally, however, there emerges a third option: a magnetar. These exotic objects, share a lot in common with neutron stars. They are incredibly dense – second only to black holes in that regard – and spin very rapidly, though not...

interstellar medium solves pulsar mystery
2014-05-07 04:48:07

[ Watch the Video: Radio Wave Emission From A Pulsar ] John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When a massive star, typically around 10 times the mass of our Sun, reaches the end of its main-sequence life, a series of events begins that eventually leads to a brilliant supernova. The shockwave from the event ejects most of the material into the surrounding interstellar medium, leaving a brilliant blanket of glowing gas that hangs in the sky for thousands of years....

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...

More Articles (9 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.