Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Latest Supernovae Stories

Astronomers Observe Type 1a Supernova Progenitor System
2012-08-24 05:07:44

Video: Binary Star System that Produces Recurrent Novae Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For the first time, astronomers have observed a Type 1a supernova progenitor system, according to a report in the journal Science. Previous evidence pointed to the merger of two white dwarf stars as the originators of other Type 1a supernovae. However, this new study led by Ben Dilday, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at UC Santa Barbara and at Las Cumbres Observatory...

Neutrinos Can Alter Exploding Star Physics
2012-08-22 10:27:27

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Within the heart of exploding stars, sparse halos of neutrinos exert a previously unrecognized influence on the physics of the explosion and may alter which elements can be forged by these violent events. Neutrinos are one of the fundamental particles that make up the Universe. Although neutrinos are similar to the electron, they have one important difference; they carry no electrical charge. Being electrically neutral, they are not...

3D Structure of Supernovae
2012-08-04 06:41:14

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Japanese researchers using the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS) on the Subaru Telescope have revealed a clumpy 3D structure of supernovae. The finding supports the clumpy 3D scenario of supernovae explosions, rather than the widely accepted bipolar explosion scenario. The latest research advances the scientific understanding of how supernovae explode, which is a mystery to astronomers. Stars that have reached a mass...

Searching For Supernova Progenitors
2012-08-04 06:23:15

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A progenitor of a type 1a supernova may have been found, according to findings published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Astronomers believe that type 1a supernovae are thermonuclear explosions of a white dwarf star that is part of a binary system, which is two stars that are physically close and orbit a common center of mass. The white dwarf has mass gradually given to it by its companion star, and...

Supernova Shock Wave And Its Role In Solar System Formation
2012-08-03 09:04:16

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online It has long been thought that our Solar System was formed by the shockwave from a supernova explosion. According to this theory, the shockwave also injected material from the exploding star into a cloud of gas and dust. The newly polluted cloud formed the Sun and its surrounding planets. A new study by Alan Boss and Sandra Keiser of the Carnegie Institution for Science, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, provides the...

Chandra Finds Young Supernova Remnant Spitting Out X-rays
2012-07-31 05:18:12

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In a galaxy not that far away, astronomically speaking at least, researchers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected the first x-rays emitted by the debris of a young supernova, SN 1957D. 15 million light years from Earth, in the M83 spiral galaxy, SN 1957D is one of only a few supernova located outside the Milky Way galaxy that is detectable in both radio and optical wavelengths, decades after the explosion itself was...

Looking Into The Heart Of A Supernova
2012-07-12 21:01:00

Caltech simulation points out how to detect a rapidly spinning stellar core Each century, about two massive stars in our own galaxy explode, producing magnificent supernovae. These stellar explosions send fundamental, uncharged particles called neutrinos streaming our way and generate ripples called gravitational waves in the fabric of space-time. Scientists are waiting for the neutrinos and gravitational waves from about 1000 supernovae that have already exploded at distant locations in...

Astronomers Spot Fastest Moving Pulsar Ever
2012-06-29 13:31:30

[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers may have discovered the fastest moving pulsar ever seen using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. Astronomers used X-ray observations, combined with infrared data from the 2MASS project and optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey to find evidence for the record-breaking pulsar. The XMM-Newton image was produced when a massive star exploded as a supernova, leaving behind a...

NuSTAR To Help Scientists Solve Supernova Explosion Mystery
2012-06-18 04:01:37

[ Watch the Video ] Somewhere in the Milky Way, a massive old star is about to die a spectacular death. As its nuclear fuel runs out, the star begins to collapse under its own tremendous weight. Crushing pressure triggers new nuclear reactions, setting the stage for a terrifying blast. And then... nothing happens. At least that's what supercomputers have been telling astrophysicists for decades. Many of the best computer models of supernovas fail to produce an explosion. At the end of...

Chandra Captures Supernova Shock Wave
2012-05-16 03:13:51

Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovas are much more powerful than others. On Nov. 3, 2010, a supernova was discovered in the galaxy UGC 5189A, located about 160 million light years away. Using data from the All Sky Automated Survey telescope in Hawaii taken earlier, astronomers...

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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