When light from an exploding star in the Large Magellanic Cloud reached Earth in 1987, it was the closest supernova explosion astronomers had witnessed in centuries. Now Supernova 1987a is making history again, this time as the youngest supernova remnant that can be seen from Earth.
The supernova debris has been dimming in the years since its discovery, but a team of astronomers announced today that the debris is now beginning to brighten again. This means that it is being lit by a different power source, and is a sign of 1987a's transition from supernova to supernova remnant.
When a supernova forms, most of its light comes from the radioactive decay of elements created in the explosion, which decreases and fades over time. As you can see in the image above, 1987a is surrounded by a ring of detritus that flew off the progenitor star before it exploded. Inside the ring, the fish-shaped cloud of star guts is expanding ever outward. Some of this material is starting to hit the surrounding ring, which is creating shock waves that produce X-rays. These X-rays, combined with shock heating, are the new power source that is causing the supernova remnant to brighten.
When the rest of the expanding stellar debris hits, the ring will shred and little of the former star's history will remain. Until then, scientists can study the last several thousand years of the stars life by observing the swirls of gas and interstellar stuff.
The wonders of the cosmos has always captured and owned my heart! This picture is magical to me! If only I could space travel. Heavy sigh.... my travels now only exist in my dreams! This picture is beautiful!
Its things like that which make you realize how small you really are.
P.S. HI BUBBA!... I mean becosmos
It was dimming and now they notice its beginning to brighten. Nice! I adore pink! :)
this kinda thing is why space is so fascinating to me
Is Bubba on sedatives?
If you remove the center part of this picture and just leave the circle, doesn't this picture remind you of a episode from the old Star Trek? Where this gaint cylnder type thingy travel about the space and ate planets and space ships and everything in its path.
No, they banned Bubba, which is good. This is a place for conversation about science, and in particular the article above each comment section. Not a place for him to post stream-of-consciousness poetry, songs, random blurts. I stopped reading popsci altogether for a while, since he usually sidetracked any discussion with his blatant trolling. I felt like i was trapped in an elevator with a 5 yr old kid with ADD. Good riddance. But don't worry for him, he will be able to make an account at some other site and torture those people for fun.
I love and adore science. No, I am not a scientist. I am blonde, duh! I have worked with gizmos and gadgets all my life. It’s just a joy and fun.
I have read often the articles of scientist and also read from many scientists too, Sci-Fi books, movies media. Haven't you? It’s just so much to dream and let your mind go out there.
I just do not believe I am alone in watching the old show Star Trek and nobody got my parallel to the episode of the giant cylinder thingy eating space ships, planets and so on.
There was not much else going on in the comments of this article. You genius were not adding you own wondrous comments. So, yes I went off on different direction. Something many enjoy, dreaming........ ah.
Well, sorry my comment annoyed you. Get over it, I am blonde already.
I still watch the old episodes of Star Trek occasionally. I just can't help it.