Suzaku detected X-rays produced when heavily ionized iron atoms recapture an electron. This view combines infrared images from the ground (red, green) with X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory (blue).
JAXA/NASA/Suzaku, Tom Bash, John Fox/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
A new type of supernova remnant still holds the embers of the fireball that first blossomed thousands of years ago. The remnant gas retains ions with the imprint of temperatures 10,000 times hotter than the sun's surface, according to scientists who made the observations with the Japan-U.S. Suzaku space observatory.
Doomsdayers and 2012 blog-keepers, take note. Astronomers at this week's American Astronomical Society meeting revealed that a massive white dwarf star in the throes of multiple nova is much closer to our solar system than once thought. When it does finally collapse into a type Ia supernova -- okay, if it collapses into a type Ia supernova -- the resulting thermonuclear blast will destroy life on earth. Seriously.
Stars don't tend to go quietly, and the most massive of them all create a supernova explosion 50 to 100 times brighter than normal. Now astronomers have confirmed the existence of rare but huge stars that contain 200 times the mass of our sun, after spotting one unusually bright cosmic explosion in 2007.
NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope spent a year collecting data from a thousand gamma ray sources and came up with this, the best map to date of the extreme universe. It also gave Einstein a shot in the arm by confirming the scientist's theories of space-time.
Good news for astrophysicists and fans of massive thermonuclear explosions alike: a team of mathematicians at the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working alongside two astrophysicists from Stony Brook University and U.C. Santa Cruz, have modeled the hours leading up to a Type Ia supernova, capturing the gritty details of the cataclysmic death of a white dwarf star for the first time.
With the discovery of a bright, long-lived supernova, scientists believe they have found a spectacular new way for stars to die
By Gregory MonePosted 05.20.2008 at 3:31 pm 4 Comments
Heavy elements in the star's core are ejected in all directions. Not even a black hole is left after the explosion.
Meet pair-instability supernova SN2006GY, the most extraordinary explosion in the cosmos. Unlike its smaller, regular supernova cousins, which blast off the outer layers of a star and pack what remains into a neutron core or a black hole, the pair-instability supernova is a much more violent celestial finale. These events happen only in stars that are at least 150 times as large as our sun and result in total annihilation of the star. Astrophysicists contend that this type of eruption helped seed the cosmos with heavy metals like iron, a process that ultimately allowed planets to form.
Scientists find an exotic cosmic object that doesn't fit the standard explanations
By Gregory MonePosted 05.19.2008 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment
Astronomers using the Arecibo telescope have discovered a fast-rotating pulsar that doesn't fit the accepted notions of how those exotic, lighthouse-like stellar objects form. Pulsars get their name from the brief beams of light they shoot our way every few milliseconds or more.