ESAs Gaia Observatory Locates Its First Supernova

ESA's Gaia Observatory Locates Its First Supernova

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Less than two months after it first began repeatedly scanning the sky, the ESA’s Gaia space observatory has discovered its first supernova – a powerful stellar explosion that had occurred...

Latest Supernovae Stories

2014-09-09 16:21:06

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova. The discovery confirms a long-held theory that the supernova, dubbed SN 1993J, occurred inside what is called a binary system, where two interacting stars caused a cosmic explosion. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO "This is like a crime scene, and we finally identified the robber," said Alex...

2014-08-30 07:29:17

European Space Agency Astronomers using ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in one of these explosions was captured for the first time. The explosions in question are known as Type Ia supernovae, long suspected to be the result of a white dwarf star blowing up because of a...

local bubble
2014-08-27 08:50:47

Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million years. At its peak, a supernova can outshine the entire Milky Way. It seems obvious that you wouldn't want a supernova exploding near Earth. Yet there is growing evidence that one did — actually, more than one. About 10 million years ago, a nearby...

Galaxy M82 supernova
2014-08-25 05:54:02

University of Manchester New research by a team of UK and European-based astronomers is helping to solve the mystery of what caused a spectacular supernova in a galaxy 11 million light years away, seen earlier this year. The supernova, a giant explosion of a star and the closest one to the Earth in decades, was discovered earlier this year by chance at the University of London Observatory. These phenomena are extremely important to study because they provide key information about our...

supernova SN 2014J
2014-08-14 10:48:55

NASA/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight into what triggered one of the closest supernovas witnessed in decades. The data gathered on the Jan. 21 explosion, a Type Ia supernova, allowed scientists to rule out one possible cause. These supernovas may be triggered when a white dwarf takes on too much mass from its companion star,...

zombie star after supernova
2014-08-07 07:21:49

Felicia Chou, NASA Headquarters and Donna Weaver / Ray Villard, Space Telescope Science Institute Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has spotted a star system that could have left behind a “zombie star” after an unusually weak supernova explosion. A supernova typically obliterates the exploding white dwarf, or dying star. On this occasion, scientists believe this faint supernova may have left behind a surviving portion of the dwarf star -- a sort of zombie...

2014-08-06 12:22:15

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has spotted a star system that could have left behind a "zombie star" after an unusually weak supernova explosion. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO A supernova typically obliterates the exploding white dwarf, or dying star. On this occasion, scientists believe this faint supernova may have left behind a surviving portion of the dwarf star -- a sort of...

chandra 15th anniversary
2014-07-23 04:08:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia carried the Chandra X-ray Observatory into space 15 years ago, deploying it on July 23, 1999. Chandra, along with the other "Great Observatories" like Hubble and Spitzer, has helped to revolutionize the way we view the Universe using an unprecedented X-ray vision. "Chandra changed the way we do astronomy. It showed that precision observation of the X-rays from cosmic sources is critical to understanding...

Iron 'Fingerprints' Point Astronomers To Supernova Remnants
2014-07-03 03:27:00

NASA An international team of astronomers using data from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray observatory has developed a powerful technique for analyzing supernova remnants, the expanding clouds of debris left behind when stars explode. The method provides scientists with a way to quickly identify the type of explosion and offers insights into the environment surrounding the star before its destruction. "Supernovae imprint their remnants with X-ray evidence that reveals the nature of the...

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...

Latest Supernovae Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

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...

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...

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